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  1. ITV Report

East Anglia's first time voters grill politicians on trust, Brexit and the environment

Four politicians face a grilling from Suffolk students who will be voting for the first time in the General Election.

Students in Suffolk have been quizzing would-be MPs on trust in politics, Brexit and climate change in ITV News Anglia's School Election Debate.

More than a hundred students, many them first-time voters, tackled politicians from the four political parties fielding the most candidates in the Anglia region at the 2017 General Election.

The debate started and ended with an online poll among the audience asking if they trusted the politicians to deliver their promises. At the start, two-thirds of the audience who responded said "not at all".

  • Watch the debate presented by Jonathan Wills along with Andy Ward and ITV News Anglia Political Correspondent, Emma Hutchinson

The debate was organised by the Thomas Gainsborough School at Great Cornard near Sudbury.

There were also students from Haverhill Community Sixth Form, Felixstowe Academy, Ormiston Sudbury Academy and Stoke College.

This is the third election that ITV Anglia has involved first-time voters in the school debate after is started ahead of the 2015 General Election

There was not much trust in politicians when the audience of students were polled ahead of the debate.

Young people are generally less likely to vote than older people.

Based on surveys by the British Election Study, only 43% of people aged 18-24 bothered to vote at the 2017 General Election compared with around 70% overall and up to 82% for those aged 65-84.

Turnout at the past four General Elections has been rising and it was 73% at the EU referendum in 2016.

In that referendum it is estimated that four out of ten voters under 24 years old did not vote.

First-time voters, tackled politicians from the four political parties fielding the most candidates in the Anglia region at the 2017 General Election.

The students put questions to four politicians from the Conservative and Labour, parties along with the Liberal Democrats and the Green Party.

The Brexit Party is standing in only a handful of seats in the Anglia region.

  • Dan Poulter has been the Conservative MP for Central Suffolk and North Ipswich since 2010
  • Sandy Martin has been the Labour MP for Ipswich since 2017
  • Marie Goldman is the Liberal Democrat leader on Chelmsford City Council
  • Helen Geake is the Green Party candidate in Bury St Edmunds

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