Last night we held a hustings meeting for the general
election which I chaired; over 200 people came to hear what the five candidates
had to say. The format for the evening included each candidate having a couple
of minutes to make a personal statement, three questions put to the candidates
based on people filling out slips asking what the most important issue was, and a
longer period of open questions.
It’s not a scientific poll but on the basis of the slips
people filled out the main concerns are (in order of popularity):
- Economy: how do we identify waste and areas to cut, how do
we balance cutting the deficit and maintaining public services and how do we
promote economic growth
- Politics: is it worth voting, what’s the difference between
the parties and how will they act if elected
- Christian faith: are Christians discriminated against and
will you stand up for Christian beliefs.
- Local issues: predominantly about the need for a bypass
- Immigration: the need for action not words
- Care for the elderly and how it is paid for
- And some single questions about the euro, dog hunting,
extraordinary rendition and young people.
Overall I thought the format worked well and between
the set questions and ones raised from the floor we covered all the issues
which several people identified as important in addition to a range of others.
We had one disruptive heckler, but he seemed to take the hint before I got to
give him a final warning (though I feared I was going to have to eject him).
Roll on the real poll