General Election 2017 - what you need to know!
The House of Commons recently voted in favour of the UK holding a snap General Election that will be taking place on Thursday 8 June 2017. This vote being passed means that instead of the UK going to the polls in 2020 we'll be voting to decide who leads the Country in just a few weeks time.
We've put together some key information on everything you need to know so that you can have your say in the election.
We've also got a hustings event happening in the HUBS on Thursday 25 May from 5.30pm.This is your opportunity to hear what your local MP's have to say on the student movement. All constituency candidates have been invited. You can sign up for your free ticket here! Let us know if you're going by pressing attend on our Facebook event too - and share it with your friends!
What is a general election?
A general election is how we, the British public, decide who we want to represent us in Parliament. Everyone who is eligable and registers (more info on this below!) can vote for one candidate who will represent their local area (also known as a constituency). A general election usually happens every 5 years but as we mentioned above a snap election is being held this year.
Registering to vote
To vote in the election you need to be over 18 years of age and on the electoral register. This is an opt-in list of people who have signed up to vote in elections. So if you haven't signed up and you do want to vote you will need to register here - it'll only take 5 minutes to register and it's all pretty simple! You are able to register in more than one location (for example your University address and your home address) but you can only vote once in a general election - voting twice is a criminal offence. If you are not currently a British citizen then you won't be able to vote.
How to vote
To vote you need to attend your designated polling station (which you'll get when you received your polling card in the post). You can vote anytime between 7am and 10pm on Thursday 8 June. Once you get to your polling station you simply go to a voting booth and put a cross in the box next to your preferred candidate. You can also vote by post if you're unable to attend a polling station on 8 June. To do this you need to register for postal voting by Tuesday 23 May - more details can be found here.
Who should I vote for?
No matter who you vote for it should be your decision and you should vote for the person or party that represents your views and thoughts. It's worthwhile to take a look at all of the parties who are running in the election and taking some time to look through their manifestos so that you can make an informed decision. The below websites will be good place to start for some of the main parties..
Conservatives Labour Liberal Democrats Scottish National Party
UKIP The Green Party Plaid Cymru
For more information on what everything means you can visit the following websites which will be able to further explain how the election works and may answer any other questions you have.
- Your Vote Matters
- BBC News