“My vote won’t count anyway”
“Labour are just gonna lose”
“There’s power in her kitten heels”
Dear all, I had previously decided that I wasn’t going to do a post about the upcoming snap general election on the 8th of May. Not because I don’t think that getting involved in politics is important, but because I didn’t think I had to. Up till now I had assumed that we were all more than aware of how important it is to cast our votes and have our say in who we want to represent us. But in a recent conversation with some friends, it dawned on me that yes, young people are now registering to vote but few are aware of how our voting system works and what it means to vote where it counts.
OUR VOTING SYSTEM.
Here in Britain, we use a voting system called first past the post (FPTP). What that means is, it’s irrelevant which party gets the most votes overall. I’ve heard time and time again from young people that they don’t believe that their vote counts, and to be honest sometimes that is exactly the case. Because of the system we use, the party in power is the party that ends up with the most members of parliament (MP’s). We vote for MP’s to represent our constituency (area), all of those votes are added up, an MP is elected and a seat in parliament is won. Altogether, there are 650 seats in parliament, which means that the party who attains the most out of these 650 seats is the winner. What that also means is, even if the majority of people vote for a particular party they could still lose the election because those who voted failed to vote strategically.
MAKING YOUR VOTE COUNT.
If your in anyway confused about what was just said above bear with me I’m about to break it down further. As some of my readers are in university I hope this example will be helpful. Okay, let’s imagine that the constituency your university is in, has always voted for the Conservatives but you want Labour to win. You could use your one vote to choose Labour and hope that others did the same, but you also have the option of voting in your home constituency. If the area you live in also has a Conservative stronghold (people usually vote Conservative) then feel free to vote wherever is most suitable to you. However, if the people where you live have a tendency to flip flop between the two parties or the majority the party won by in the last election was slim, then your vote would definitely mean more there. In places where neither the Conservatives nor Labour have a stronghold, your vote could mean the difference between a Labour won seat and a Labour government or a Conservative won seat and a Conservative government. This is, as mentioned above, due to our voting system. Elections are less about individual votes and more about elected MP’s, it’s our job as the electorate to make sure that we get as much MP’s of the party we want in power elected. And the way we go about this is by voting strategically. Theresa May recently tweeted that all it will take to get the Conservatives out of power is the Loss of 6 seats , make your vote count.
Okay now that we’re all up to speed with how our voting system works and aware that it makes more sense to vote where it counts, how do we go about doing this ? Well, first things first you need to find out where it makes more sense to vote. To do this is quite simple, just head over to Constituencies – BBC NEWS and type in the post code of your university address and then your home address. Scroll down to the bottom of the page and you’ll be faced with a table. I’ve decided to compare my university constituency with my home constituency to demonstrate how easy it is to decide where to vote.
On the left is the table from my home constituency and on the right is one from the constituency my university is in. Don’t be alarmed by all of the numbers and figures I’ll explain them now. The only figure that is important for us to look at on this table is the share percentage. This shows the percentage of votes that each MP won, as you can see in the table on the left, Conservatives won 43% of the votes and Labour were close behind with 42.7%. Whereas in the table on the right Conservatives won 42.9% of the votes and Labour only managed to win just under 25%. The constiuency where my vote will count most will be the one where the Conservatives have the smallest lead and this case, the table on the left which is my home constituency.
This part of the post is addressed to the entirety of the young electorate, guys I cannot stress enough how important it is to vote. I know a lot of us don’t see the point in voting, we view politicians as all being the same, I know we’re tired of false promises and of being lied to, of not getting the outcome we wanted, but welcome to politics. This is all a part of the game, sometimes we vote and we lose and that’s just how the game works, the more of us that vote the more likely we will be to get our desired outcome. If things don’t go your way on Election Day I don’t want anyone to be disheartened or to feel hard done by, you voted you had your say and though things may not have gone the way you wanted you’ve just got to keep playing and try again next time.
Well I think what I’m trying to say is that voting is important but voting strategically is even more so. If you need any more information on where to vote, or just anything about the election in general feel free to get in touch with me by leaving a comment or drop me a DM on twitter (@Jaydee_ane) and here are some other useful links.
https://www.yourvotematters.co.uk – If you need any information regarding voting in the U.K.
Argumentative, Outspoken, Unapologetically Jaydee x