Unless you have been living with your head in a biscuit tin you have probably noticed that the UK is set, once again, to go to the polls. These elections are becoming as routine as Michael Buble re-releasing his Christmas album at the start of December.
Many are claiming that this is the most important election in our lifetime. Perhaps that’s just to get people to the polling stations on the 12th December. Whether it is true or not it seems to have had the desired effect. Record numbers have registered to vote in the upcoming election.
The issues that matter
The jockeying for position has begun in earnest as the Labour party have attempted to cut into the lead that the Conservatives have in the polls. The Tories main campaign promise seems to be getting their Brexit deal over the line. Labour’s views on Brexit are that they will offer a second referendum and negotiate a new deal. The big Labour selling point appears to be their plans to nationalise many of the countries utilities and to eventually nationalise the nation’s broadband.
The other parties
The smaller parties have been busy campaigning and playing politics as well. Nigel Farage’s Brexit party have elected to withdraw from marginals where they believe they risk taking votes away from the conservatives. This is partially why many believe the Tory’s are likely to gain a big majority in Westminster. The Lib Dems and The Greens have a similar pact, however, nobody has struck any sort of deal with the Labour party. Their leader, Jeremy Corbyn, claims he has no intention of forming any form of coalition, but surely he realises that this might be his only route into power if the polls are to be believed.
So far the biggest debates have come through the ITV’s head to head between the leader of the conservative party, Boris Johnson and Jeremy Corbyn, plus the question time special where both leaders faced some scathing questions from the general public. Neither of these events had a dramatic impact on the opinion polls, but it will be interesting to see if the increase in voters registering will equate to an increase in voter activity.
How does the election work?
If you have registered to vote and are not really sure what you are supposed to do we can point you in the right direction. Firstly, it is important to remember you are voting, not for a prime minister, but for an MP. The country is separated into 650 constituencies, each one has a population of roughly 70 thousand people. Each constituency has a single MP (or member of parliament) representing it. That is what you vote for during a general election.
Once elected your chosen candidate will represent your area and vote on various issues. If they are a member of a party (and most MP’s are) then their seat will go towards that parties tally of seats. If a party has more than 50% of the seats it is allowed to form the government. The party’s leader is given the role of Prime Minister by the Queen.
Why should I vote? I don’t like any of them
There is no such thing as a wasted vote. Even if you step into the voting booth and spoil your paper, that will be recorded. If enough people spoil their papers it forces MP’s to consider why so many people feel the need to protest. Even if your favourite candidate doesn’t stand a chance of winning