It was standing room only as the University of Buckingham held the second hustings event for the Buckingham Parliamentary constituency on Wednesday November 27.
The event was held at the university's Vinson Centre, with the venue open from 6pm for the chance to talk to the candidates and their teams and submit questions.
By the 7pm start time, the 200-seat venue was already full, with university vice-chancellor Sir Anthony Seldon politely asking if any younger audience members would be willing to give up their seats to the ‘over-65s’.
Many did so with good grace, ending with 20 to 30 people standing at the sides of the room and reports of a further 20 or so turned away.
The debate, co-chaired by economics student Adam Mackintosh and Paul Graham, included five out of six candidates for the Buckingham constituency.
Present were David Morgan (Labour), Ned Thompson (Independent), Stephen Dorrell (Liberal Democrats), Greg Smith (Conservative) and Andrew Bell (Brexit Party).
The English Democrat candidate Antonio Vitiello was absent.
Questions, which had been selected from those submitted in advance were as follows:
> Will you promise on the record that you will work exclusively for the people of Buckingham and not take up other forms of paid employment that will eat up your time?
> Will the candidates vote for the Prime Minister’s Brexit deal?
> Labour claims to have exposed Conservative dialogue with the US which would give the US pharmaceutical industry access to the NHS - to what extent do the candidates believe Corbyn is lying?
> As 2050 is too late, please give details of your plan to reach zero carbon by 2030?
> How do the candidates suggest we improve the capacity of overused roads in the area?
> How will you represent and campaign for young people within Parliament to get our views heard?
> Do you feel it appropriate for young people to start their adult lives by borrowing large amounts of money to fund their education?
> What will you do to provide more GPs in Buckingham?
> What thoughts do the candidates have on the growing mental health crisis in this country?
> How can the country be brought together after Brexit?
Notably absent, in an area so closely impacted by the HS2 rail link, was any question over candidates’ attitudes to HS2 – even though one had been submitted.
On the first question of whether the candidates, if elected, would have other paid employment apart from their work as MP for Buckingham, only Stephen Dorrell (Lib Dem) said he would have ‘other continuing responsibilities’.
The event, which ran for over an hour and a half, was filmed by the university’s journalism department and an edited video (of just over an hour) from the event is available by clicking the play button above.