Vote for Britain

Tomorrow, Britain goes to the polls. The 2015 General Election is under-way and the outcome is far from certain.

If the polls are accurate, then we are facing the likely possibility of a Hung Parliament – when no party has a majority. When this happened in the 2010 General Election, it was the first time since 1974 so it could be dismissed as a one-off. Now it could be about to become a trend.

In some ways, this is good news, the political parties have to engage with voters more and no one can just stroll into Downing Street unopposed. In the aftermath, it could create more diplomatic, having to make concessions and forge alliances with other parties who hold common ideologies.

The bad news is nobody will be certain who will form the Government after the election, the party with the largest share of votes or seats might be unable to govern. The “Cabinet Manual” states that the Party able to command the confidence of the House of Commons has the right to form the next government. This could mean an alliance of anti-tory parties effectively blocks the Conservatives from No. 10 even if they have the most seats of any individual party.

It is exciting to see other parties get a foothold and begin to change the previous view of it largely being a two-party system. However until a voting reform takes place you will still get disproportionate representation in the Commons. With Labour and Conservatives continuing to be the dominating rivalry.

Still, there is the potential for the major political party to win outright, around 30% of the eligible electorate do not vote, and that’s not counting those who spoil the ballot. Currently no single party has more than 28% of the population, if that extra disaffected 30% went to the polls, they might actually change the outcome of the whole election.

I can think of a few reasons why they might not go to the polls, they may be genuinely apathetic, dislike all their local candidates or unable to make it to the polling station. Postal votes help those who can’t get to their local ballot box, while I believe those who are disillusioned should make sure their numbers are accurately recorded with a spoilt ballot paper. If politicians then see that their message isn’t being picked up, they will likely try and rethink their strategies to win over those people.

This final point certainly rings true for young people too, those aged 18-30. They must get out and vote, because currently there are not enough of them doing so and the politicians will ignore them and their needs because they cater their manifestos to those that will vote, mainly 50+. This is how you get policies like cutting housing benefits and education maintenance allowance in the welfare bill, while giving pensioners more in their state allowance.

Lastly, if you are don’t think anyone represents you, consider standing yourself. There are many parties to choose from, or create your own! Right around the World, we are seeing new political ideologies begin to emerge as a new generation forms the majority of the population. Some are nostalgic, others hopeful and full of sensible ideas to cope with the changing world.
It is a step I personally am considering, and may attempt to do when the time feels right in future. As for this election, every vote counts.

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