An Edge Hill student is aiming to become the youngest MP ever to enter UK office.
First year BA (Hons) Design for Performance student Niamh McCarthy, 18, is standing in Wavertree, Liverpool as an independent candidate in the upcoming general election.
Niamh’s political awakening came when she participated in Until They Kick Us Out, a theatre production from Liverpool’s Young Everyman Playhouse (YEP), dealing with themes of young people and democracy.
“I never realised quite how ‘political’ I was until the YEP production,” says Niamh. “The experience showed me that lots of young people do want their voices heard on various different issues and I wanted to help provide that voice.
“Whilst researching a fictional party for the production and discovering that to run for parliament all you need is £500 to apply, 10 people to say they will vote for you, and a manifesto, I realised I could possibly make it happen.”
Niamh’s manifesto includes support for people leaving compulsory education, a higher minimum wage, rent caps for students and low income families and improvements to social housing, plus an increase in funding for the NHS.
“Ideally we wish to engage younger voters between the age of 18 and 25 as during the last election less than half of people in this age group voted,” Niamh continues. “But we believe that our party is for more than just young people. We’re here for any person who feels disconnected from politics. We’re also here to invite other groups of people to get involved themselves, start their own parties/movements, start debates amongst their friends and engage themselves in political activity.
“Lots of people care about things that fall under the political umbrella such as transport costs, higher education fees and minimum wage, however they don’t understand properly that these are political issues. This is because of the idea that politics is just for upper middle class, traditionally educated people. This myth has led many people to become distanced from politics and getting involved in change.
“My campaign is more than just a protest vote.”