What makes young people run for political office?

You are 19 and facing a daunting employment market. Is seeking political office the answer? BBC Radio Derby's political reporter, Chris Doidge, has been speaking to three candidates in Derby who are campaigning for election to the local council.

John Howard, 19, Conservative

Image caption Mr Howard has been interested in politics for about three years

Stereotypically, people become more Conservative as they get older.

Mr Howard admitted many of the friends he made before entering politics were "libe

ral or left-wing".

But he said he was confident they would come to "see the light".

He said: "Everyone was very enthusiastic for me to stand, to get some fresh blood in here.

"Initially it was in a seat which was a bit of a challenge, not an easy Conservative seat, but where I couldn't do too much damage if I got it wrong."

This year he has been given a seat the Conservatives have had some success in in the past.

Mr Howard said he had been interested in politics for about three years.

"I come from not a stereotypically Conservative family as a lot of people imagine."

Jack Stanton, 27, Labour

Image caption Mr Stanton hopes to become a city councillor

Mr Stanton also tried out in a difficult seat last year, but hopes this year's election presents him with the chance to become a city councillor.

"I think I've always had an interest in politics," he said.

"I've had most of my life under a Labour government and there was a serious possibility [in 2010] that not just the government would change to a Tory one.

"Rather than just sit around and hope for the best I decided to get involved."

But what makes the prospect of late-night council meetings attractive?

Mr Stanton said he started thinking: "If not me, then who?"

"I'm prepared to work hard. I care. I'm diligent. You listen to people on the doorstep and think, 'you know, something should be done about this'."

Mr Stanton said there were downsides to being young.

He said a lack of experience was a concern, especially as there were a number of high-profile "career politicians".

"I worked for seven-and-a-half years in a supermarket, I've worked at the University of Derby for four years.

"I think you sometimes you have to admit 'No, I haven't got as much life experience', but I've got enthusiasm."

Richard Hudson, 29, Liberal Democrats

Image caption Mr Hudson said he had a passion for politics

Mr Hudson said campaigning for the Lib Dems resulted in members of the public approaching him with problems to solve.

As a result, he decided he may as well try to make his role official and run for the council.

"It just snowballed from there, to the point that almost everyone in the ward knows who I am," he said.

But he was not certain he would win the seat as a result.

"It's always been a safe Labour seat, but if you were to ask 'who is Richard Hudson?', they know my name."

He puts his interest in politics down to a passion for the subject: "I enjoy doing it or I wouldn't do it."

Mr Hudson's involvement with the Lib Dems brought him into contact with some of the party's leaders.

And he admitted to a few nerves: "When you find yourself in a meeting with Vince Cable or Nick Clegg it can be quite intimidating.

"I never expected any of that to happen at all."

A full list of candidates for Derby City Council's elections is available here.

More on this story

Around the BBC

Related Internet links

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites