With the general election coming up it is important that a) You register to vote and b) You vote!
Whether you have an ear to British politics or not I’m sure you’re aware that a general election has been called for the 12th of December. The third one in three years and the first winter poll since 1923.
So what does this mean for you as a student?
There isn’t really an excuse not to vote as politics affects everyone. For local elections you can register to vote for both your University town district and your hometown but for general elections (the election that is coming up) you can only vote in one constituency!
The first step is to make sure that you can vote. You can register to vote on the government website https://www.gov.uk/register-to-vote It takes around 3 minutes to complete. The deadline to register is November the 26th.
Students are a less likely demographic to vote which is something that you can change. In fact, at the 2017 general election, 59% of 20- to 24-year-olds voted, compared with 77% of 60- to 69-year-olds.
If you can not physically get to the polling station you can choose to use a postal vote or a proxy vote to ensure that you can still vote on polling day.
If you do not vote you lose your voice in the way the country is run and what is decided in the areas that are most important to you.
Who gets your vote
In the coming weeks, the parties will release manifestos, these are explanations of their main policies and ideas. It is important to read these as they can help inform your decision.
- Do not vote blindly. If you are not fully informed you will not be able to make a decision that you fully support
- Do not vote the same as family and friends just because you have been told to. No one can influence your vote or pressure you to make a decision. If you have differing political views it is paramount that your vote reflects your views.
In some elections there is talk of tactical voting, this is voting more to keep one candidate out by voting for a candidate who might not be your first choice but has more chance of winning.
The choice is yours of course bu tactical voting requires more thought and research.
For more information head to the BBC website – https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-49826655
To see how student votes can affect the outcome of an election – https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/education-50221335
The UoL Student Union have released a Leics Chat video on the topic of student voting – https://www.youtube.com/watch?reload=9&v=T8QaCELGXcM&feature=youtu.be