Wednesday night saw Gef hit the road as we headed to the great village of Marown to see the candidates for Middle face a grilling from the electorate.
Chaired by Captain of the Parish Charles Fargher MBE, residents quizzed David Fowler, Keiran Hannifin, Alison Lynch, Stu Peters and Jane Poole Wilson on issues ranging from Afghan refugees and youth voting to affordable housing and climate change.
We’ve broken down the evening question by question below so you can see their answers on the issues that matter to you.
To kick off the night, the candidates were invited to speak on why they want to be an MHK and what they will bring to the role.
The first question of the night saw the panel asked if they believed the island could support Afghan refugees and if so how many we should accept.
With the hustings coming the night before the registration deadline, the candidates were quizzed on how they will encourage younger islanders to get out to vote.
A problem we are all going to have to deal with, the candidates were asked about what they think the island needs to do in response to climate change.
Surely one of the main topics of the election island wide, people wanted to know what the candidates thought about the island’s housing market and how the gov could help not only young people but anyone wanting to get their first step onto the housing ladder.
Next up was a question about the state of the island’s health service and how it can be improved, as ever the subject of Manx Care cast its shadow over this section of the evening.
Teachers’ pay, the standard of education and making it fit for the future, the candidates were all asked what they think about how to improve the island’s schooling and how the gov can ease overcrowding.
Despite us all still living in a world dominated by Covid, the subject was not high on the agenda last night, but one resident asked the candidates how they see the gov’s role in helping people mentally, physically and financially in the coming months and years.
Why Should People Vote?
While youth turnout has been a focus of the campaign, the candidates were all asked what responses they’ve had on the doorstep from people who don’t normally vote and how they think they can help boost the constituency’s 52% turnout in 2016.
While we all want improvements to education and the gov wants to boost the population, people are reporting overcrowded schools, difficulties in parking and how hard it is to see their GP, in response to this the candidates were asked whether they think the island’s infrastructure can realistically cope with these additional demands.
After just over two hours of debate, the candidates were given a brief moment to present their closing statements.
You can see our candidates’ profile pages for the constituency of Middle by clicking here, where you can also find info on all the candidates from around the island by clicking on our interactive map. Gef will be out and about in every constituency during the election and will provide updates similar to this for each constituency.