Labour’s youth appeal earns them a victory at Dereham’s Neatherd High School

Holly Gibson, 13, represented Labour and won the school's general election. Picture: Neatherd High S

Holly Gibson, 13, represented Labour and won the school's general election. Picture: Neatherd High School - Credit: Archant

Last week's unexpected election result was driven heavily by young people, many of whom were inspired to vote by the fresh vision put forward by Jeremy Corbyn's Labour party.

A team got together to count the school's votes at the end of the election day. Picture: Neatherd Hi

A team got together to count the school's votes at the end of the election day. Picture: Neatherd High School - Credit: Archant

Neatherd High School in Dereham found that the party's positive message had also connected with their students when it won a majority in a mock-election, designed to encourage students to become politically engaged.

The pupils based their policies on the UK's real-life political parties, including having representatives for the Labour party, the Conservative party, the Liberal Democrats and the Green party.

They then elected party leaders and held hustings to win over voters. When Election Day got underway it was Labour leader Holly Gibson, 13, who won the most votes.

Speaking of the party's real-life leader, she said: 'I think that Jeremy Corbyn always comes across very strongly whenever he talks.


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'I believe very strongly in all the policies they have. I think it is important that there is free health care and also no cuts to schools. Labour's policies benefit all groups of people, old or young.'

She added: 'Politics are a crucial part of our lives, if you know about politics now you won't fall into wormholes in the future when you are able to vote.'

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In the general election it was Conservative party MP George Freeman who won the seat for mid-Norfolk but Labour candidate Sarah Simpson received 16,742 votes, 7,157 more than the party received in the 2015 general election.

Ms Simpson was pleased to hear of Labour's victory at the school and said: 'It's been really interesting to see how the Labour campaign has galvanised people under the age of 25. It's one of Jeremy Corbyn's qualities as a person, he sounds fresh to people who haven't been engaged in politics and what he is saying is new.

'I think he appeals a lot to young people when talking about a fairer and more equal society as it taps into young people's views of fairness.'

Dean Fisher, teacher of society and ethics, and co-organiser of the school election campaign, said: 'Having a political voice has never been more important. What is great is that not only the voter turnout is on the increase, but younger people are becoming more involved in our democracy.'

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