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iainmckieThe Isle of Wight College is to host the forthcoming ‘Twestion Time’ event on Monday 23rd March – a new debate format allowing an incredible opportunity for all Isle of Wight parliamentary candidates to engage with first-time voters using a channel they are all familiar with – Twitter.

Twestion Time will be hosted by Head of Sixth Form and Politics Lecturer, Chris Harpum, who will act as @Twimbleby, flagging relevant questions and trending topics for discussion.

andrewturner400Twestion Time will take place at Isle of Wight College on 23rd March between 17:00-18:00.  Invitations have been dispatched to all this year’s candidates; the college has already received responses from Andrew Turner (right), Vix Lowthion (below) and UKIP’s Iain McKie (above), and are hopeful that all candidates will choose to be represented.  Although the event will physically take place at the College, as a public forum the Island’s voters will all have the opportunity to get involved.  Questions can be sent in advance to @twestiontime using the hashtag #twestiontime.

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vixlowthionThere has never been a more important time to connect with digitally savvy voters; recent polls suggest only 44% of 18-24 year olds voted in the 2010 General Election, with many commentators suggesting the disaffected younger voters could be decisive. Twitter has become the new battleground of British politics; tweets now routinely overtake press releases as the communication tool of choice amongst politicians. This year’s Isle of Wight Parliamentary candidates have all actively embraced digital technology, and with good reason – as many as a third of young voters have stated social media will play a crucial role for them in deciding who they vote for on 7th May.

The Island is known for many things – not least our marvellous music festivals and beautiful landscape. However, we are also a well-established centre of technical innovation. In its time, the Island has seen itself dubbed the ‘Dinosaur capital of Britain’ for our unique fossil finds, and  embraced technologies as far-reaching as the electric car, the hovercraft and the wind-turbine, to name but a few.

In the UK’s largest constituency, the youth vote could have a dramatic impact upon the result of this year’s parliamentary election.  And with Twestion Time, once again, the Isle of Wight will be leading the way.

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