General election 2019: Under-30s question politicians in TV debate

Question Time

Younger voters are putting questions to representatives from the main parties in a debate being shown on BBC One, Radio 1, 1Xtra and 5live.

The debate which is taking place in York, will last 90 minutes, and is being hosted by the BBC presenter Emma Barnett.

An audience of 18-30-year-olds has been selected to reflect how people of all ages in the country have voted.

The UK goes to the polls in three days on Thursday 12 December.

Sitting on the panel are:

  • Conservative Housing Secretary Robert Jenrick
  • Labour’s shadow education secretary Angela Rayner
  • Liberal Democrat leader Jo Swinson
  • SNP Justice Secretary in the Scottish government Humza Yousaf
  • Plaid Cymru leader Adam Price
  • Green Party co-leader Jonathan Bartley
  • Brexit Party leader Nigel Farage

The first question came from Catrin Ellis who asked how her voice could be heard when she lives in a safe seat constituency.

Mr Farage said the voting system was “wrong” pointing out that his former party, UKIP, won nearly four million votes but only one seat in the 2015 election.

Ms Swinson said she would “love” to see a voting system where “your vote would count no matter where you are” and added “the very concept of a safe seat” was “a broken part of our politics”.

Young people make up a big share of non-voters in the UK – the British Election Study estimates that between 40-50% of those aged 18 to their mid-20s voted in 2015 and 2017 compared with about 80% of voters aged in their 70s.

Polling expert Sir John Curtice says age is “the division that nowadays lies at the heart of British party politics and will play a significant role on 12 December”.

The televised discussion comes on a day in which the campaign has been dominated by debate of the NHS and Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s initial refusal to look at an image of a sick child on the floor of an overcrowded hospital.

Elsewhere Labour’s John McDonnell sets out what it would do in its first 100 days in government and Jo Swinson has defended her stance on extending transgender rights.

Follow election night on the BBC

  • Watch the election night special with Huw Edwards from 21:55 GMTon BBC One, the BBC News Channel, iPlayer
  • As polls close at 22:00, the BBC will publish an exit poll across all its platforms, including @bbcbreaking and @bbcpolitics
  • The BBC News website and app will bring you live coverage and the latest analysis throughout the night
  • We will feature results for every constituency as they come in with a postcode search, map and scoreboards
  • Follow @bbcelection for every constituency result
  • From 21:45 GMT, Jim Naughtie and Emma Barnett will host live election night coverage on BBC Radio 4, with BBC Radio 5 live joining for a simulcast from midnight

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