Watford’s parliamentary candidates made their pitch to first time voters at a hustings event hosted by the Watford UTC today.

Conservative MP Richard Harrington faced off against Liberal Democrat candidate and Watford’s Mayor Dorothy Thornhill, Labour nominee Matt Turmaine and Green Party spokesman John Dowdle.

They were grilled by pupils aged 17 and 18 on topics including tuition fees, radicalisation, corporation tax, the reputation of politicians in the eyes of voters and the future of the NHS.

The first time voters went to the polling booths after the closing statements – which you can watch below – to ‘vote for their MP’.

Mr Dowdle – taking part as the Greens are yet to announce a Watford candidate – won the debate with a 44 percent share of the vote.

Mr Turmaine secured 20 percent of the votes, with Mr Harrington third on 17 percent and Mrs Thornhill taking 14 percent of the vote.

There were two spoilt papers with one pupil writing they wanted a ‘political revolution’.

UKIP candidate Nick Lincoln said he was not invited to take part in the event, which was organised by the UTC’s Political Association.

UTC Principal Emma Loveland said: “It was a true reflection of the students’ ability to organise and deliver a professional event.

“The students were on point and reflective of the points important to them, their families and the community.”

The candidates’ responses to questions will appear on the Observer website in due course - but here are the closing statements made by those hoping to represent Watford in Westminster from May.

John Dowdle

Matt Turmaine

Dorothy Thornhill

Richard Harrington