IW Observer/Island Echo East Wight Hustings coverage

Wednesday night marked the second joint IW Observer and Island Echo hustings, with the East Wight event held at Ryde School.

A little under 200 people attended the event, which featured all six candidates for the East Wight. In the exit poll, Green Party’s Vix Lowthian came out on top with 62 votes, clearing other candidates by five votes.

The event started with an introduction from Darren Toogood, editor of Island Echo, on behalf of both publications, and a welcome from Ra Hennessy, head of marketing and communications at Ryde School.

In the same format as last week’s West Wight hustings, candidates were each given three minutes to introduce themselves, followed by a list of four pre-arranged questions on ferries, education, the NHS and the environment.

Afterwards, the floor was open to questions from the public, disclosing differing opinions amongst the candidates on voting at age 16, sourcing funding for new plans, and thoughts on Brexit.

The IW Observer’s Richard Priest oversaw the proceedings as chairman, keeping order and ensuring the candidates kept their answers within their allotted time.

IW Observer editor, Carole Dennett, said: “Many people have thanked us for organising both hustings events. It is important for local democracy that Islanders have the chance to question those who are seeking to represent them.”

Ballot papers were issued before the event started, but more than 30 of those present chose not to vote in the exit poll.

The livestream of the event can now be watched on the IW Observer’s Facebook page.

The IW Observer and Island Echo would like to thank Ryde School and Newport Minster for agreeing to host the IW East and IW West hustings respectively.

Full exit poll results: 161 votes cast, one spoilt: Emily Brothers (Labour) 15, David Groocock (Independent) 1, Michael Lilley (Liberal Democrat) 10, Vix Lowthian (Green) 62, Sarah Morris (Reform UK) 15 and Joe Robertson (Conservative) 57.