In tandem with the hurly-burly and mud-slinging of the national General Election, the King’s Senior School Government and Politics Department organised a student election to be held on the same day that the nation went to the polls. Ably organised by Lower Sixth Formers Ed and Georgia, five candidates distributed election posters around the school and then locked horns in a spirited hustings in Main School Yard on the day before the Election. Although the general feedback was positive, it was difficult to say whether any candidate had ‘won’ as each seemed to have their own ‘target audience’…
During lulls in Sports Day on May 7th, pupils were invited to vote at a specially-constructed polling station at Medway Park, with the polls closing at 2pm to allow a count and a result before the end of the day. Given the ‘captive electorate’ turnout was lower than expected, at 52%. The results are as follows:
Harriet Mitchell, UKIP - 12.9%
Ben Kite, Green Party - 15.58%
George Payne, Liberal Democrats - 17.5%
Millie Martin, Labour - 17.5%
Callum Sharp, Conservative - 37%
In some ways the King’s results mirrored the national outcome, with a Conservative victory, although Liberal and Green Party support is stronger than expected, and UKIP-ers in a minority.
To add to the excitement, King’s was fortunate enough to host its own hustings for local party candidates in an event also organised by Georgia and Ed with the Head of Politics. We were delighted that candidates from all the main political parties accepted the invitation to take to the stage in School Hall and to lay out their policies in two minute speeches to our Senior pupils and also Sixth formers invited from Strood Academy and Fort Pitt. Kelly Tolhurst (Con), Naushabah Khan (Lab), Prue Bray (Lib Dem), Mark Reckless (UKIP) and Clive Gregory (Green) then answered pupils’ questions asked via Mr Walker who chaired the proceedings and, in his words, did “the Dimbleby bit”! The session ended with a 1 minute concluding speech by each politician. It was a most informative and enjoyable morning and our pupils and visitors asked a wide range of highly pertinent questions.
Many thanks to Georgia and Ed for their organisation of the election, and to the Senior School in general for supporting it with enthusiasm.