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I’m a first-time voter in the Highlands - here’s what it takes to get my vote


By Molly Thompson

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I’m Molly, an 18-year-old journalism student from the Black Isle. As I prepare for my first time voting in a general election, it looks as though the Tory government that has been in Westminster since I was in primary school will finally be out.

Although nothing is certain, it seems as though there will be a new party in charge of the UK government for the first time in 14 years.

The general election will be on July 4.
The general election will be on July 4.

Thinking about the future of politics in the UK and by extension the policies that will shape my adult life is often concerning. I sometimes wonder what the state of the NHS will be when I am older and will need it the most, or if the climate crisis will ever be averted or at the very least, delayed.

Although many people my age feel politically hopeless, I think that there is something to be said for participating in your future and voting for the more vulnerable groups of people that will feel the full effects of political decisions.

On a local level, being a young person in the Highlands can be trying, with the lack of things to do and public transport to get you there, it often feels as though the area is simply not designed for teenagers or young adults. Most people, myself included, feel the need to move away because of this.

I think in order to get the vote of young people in the Highlands, politicians should work to improve public transport services, affordable housing and implementing policies that combat climate change.

The NHS needs to be invested in on a national level, but particularly in the Highlands where services are scarce and often inaccessible in the more rural and remote areas. This is vital as the Highlands has an older population than the national average, so NHS Highland should be given the resources to be able to cater to this.

Ideally, the candidates voted in for in the constituencies in the north of Scotland will be able to take the needs of young voters into account. In order for this to be possible I’d urge people (especially those voting for the first time) to look into the candidates and parties in order to make the most informed decision that you can.

If you are interested in learning more about the candidates in the Inverness, Skye and West Ross-shire constituency you can watch our reporter Annabelle Gauntlett’s interviews with the candidates for SNP, Liberal Democrats and Labour. Additionally, you can read the top priorities for all the candidates.

If you are interested in learning more about the candidates for the Caithness, Sutherland and Easter Ross constituency, you can read the interviews with candidates conducted by Scott Maclennan.

If you are interested in learning more about the candidates for the Moray West, Nairn and Strathspey constituency, you can read the interviews with candidates conducted by Federica Stefani.


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