“Well there’s a particular issue with the electoral registration, because the government has changed the way you register to vote quite dramatically, and brought those changes in very quickly. And that could mean there’s about 200,000 young people who are not actually physically able to vote in this election, unless through articles like this and campaigns, that we get for them to register so I think that’s a particular problem.
“I think generally, perhaps young people feel that politics isn’t so relevant to them at the moment, or that people don’t represent their interests.”
We then asked Ms Morden about the policies on offer from the Welsh Labour Party in regards to the interests of young people:
“Well I’ve been the MP for the last five years under this government, and I’ve just seen that some of the difficult things that have affected young people particularly, but probably most acutely, and they are issues to do with not having enough housing, or people being able to afford housing, and the impact of high rents and insecure tenancies and private rented accommodation.
“Also really important, is we’ve seen a growth in the last few years of really low paid, temporary insecure work and people talk a lot about things like zero hours contracts, which might be fine if that fits in with your way of life and what you want to do at that particular time, but for many young people I see […], that kind of thing we just can’t carry on, because it doesn’t give anybody the ability to plan for the future.
“The other big thing that we’re saying, is about cutting tuition fees, because obviously in this parliament, tuition fees have trebled to £9,000 under this government[…] In Wales we’ve got a different system, because Welsh Labour and the Welsh government have protected students more and I think that’s a really important thing as well.
“I’d like to see more women coming into politics. And if you vote Labour at this election, you’ve got a chance at getting more women MPs, which will only make us more representative which I think is fair.”
We then asked Jessica how she has personally been encouraging young people to get more involved with politics, and this was her reply:
“I’ve been to Caldicot sixth form recently to talk about my job. I try and get out in the workplace and talk to young people as well. Obviously we all try and use social media to whatever affect, to engage with young people.
“And the other thing I’m quite excited about promoting amongst young people in my constituency, is the Labour party’s going to have a youth manifesto, which is joined together through people submitting online, and also through little consultation meetings and events and I’m really keen get that out and about.”
On the subject of why it’s important to vote, Ms Morden replied:
“It’s about making sure that your interests and your future, is represented by parties and that they hear your voice, and I think that’s absolutely crucially important. Of course I would want people to vote for me, but I also want people just to vote as well, whether they vote for me or not. Particularly I hope the voting age does come down to 16, but when you vote at 18, in your first vote you’re more likely to carry on voting.
When asked about how young people will benefit from voting and how they’ll be effected, she replied:
“The more young people that vote, the more all political parties have to listen to you, and I’m not saying that I don’t think the Labour Party doesn’t listen to young people, but I’m just saying in general the stronger your voice the more people are going to listen to you, and therefore policies that people put forward – be it on housing, on work, on class sizes, on tuition fees – will be more representative of what young people want.”
As a final after thought, Jessica wanted to remind everyone, in particular those still yet to register, that you have until April 20, 2015 to do so. You will also need your National Insurance number, but if you can’t remember it or you have lost it, you can phone to register on 0300 200 3502.