At 7am on Thursday May 22 the doors opened at Rye Community Centre, one of the town’s busiest polling stations, for the EU election. These elections are the only occasion, outside a general election, when all 46m UK voters can participate and determine the political balance of the incoming EU Parliament. Rye News asked members of the voting public a range of questions related to the EU election and received a variety of reactions and responses.
First, voters were asked whether they felt that 18 was the right age to qualify to vote. One person strongly disagreed, saying, “I think it’s too low, it should be higher, should be 21; what does anyone know at 18? They know nothing.” However, some other voters polled believed that it should be lower than 18.
People were then asked if they were hoping for any changes that will be beneficial in the future. The first person to respond, said, “Yes, I would like to be out of Europe.” Another person voiced the hope that there would be changes for the good when they told me, “Yes, of course, well I definitely don’t want more nationalism to come back!”
When asked whether there should be any new laws, one person replied, “I don’t think the elections are very fair because the election system isn’t so good, is it?” Another voter replied, “That would be telling… [but] yeah, for the disabled.”
Several voters were asked about whether or not they agreed with a coalition, but most of them were very reluctant to give an answer. However, it was clear from other responses that a lot of confusion still surrounds the EU elections. It seems there is still a great deal of work to do to try to make the EU institutions relevant and useful to the UK electorate.
Harley Gentry is a year 10 student at Rye Studio School and is very interested in journalism as a career. He is currently in his first year of GCSE’s studying English, Maths, Science, I.T, Business, Performing Arts (Double Award) and Photography.