AS PEOPLE across West Dorset head to the polls today, Dorchester teenager Laurie Thomas is urging fellow first-time voters to make their voices heard.

Laurie, 18, of Balmoral Crescent, is looking forward to heading to the polling station to cast his vote for the first time and says everyone his age should be taking the opportunity.

Laurie, who is studying public services at Weymouth College, said: “I’m looking forward to being able to vote for the first time.

“I think first-time voters are the most important people for candidates to secure votes from.

“If they get your vote this time then you are probably going to choose them again.”

Keen skater Laurie says he knows not all his friends will be putting their cross on the ballot paper, but he feels they should all vote.

He said: “I know I have got friends who will vote, but not all of them will.

“It’s an important decision, working out who is going to work for you as well as everyone else in society.”

Laurie said the most important factor behind his decision today would be to vote for someone whose party is going to restore faith in politics after the expenses scandal and other damaging headlines in recent months.

He said: “There seems to be a lot of dishonesty so I would want a party I can trust and a party that is going to turn the situation around.”