Thursday 8th of June 2017 is fast approaching and your vote is vital, but who should you vote for? What’s best for the country? And what does the future hold for us all? There are many questions and great confusion that surrounds this rushed election, luckily you have this article to hand that breaks down the basics so that you can be informed on your choice before you reach the ballot.
What is it?
This election is a general election, this means that you are voting for the party that you want to form a government in Westminster and run the country. By casting your vote you are electing an MP that will represent your constituency (area) in the House of Commons, the party with the most MP’s will ultimately win the election and create the next government.
Why is it happening?
Theresa May (Conservative leader and current PM), called this election as a result of backbench rebellions and general disagreement in Parliament following the Brexit vote. By giving the UK a chance to vote again Theresa May is hoping to gain some legitimacy (as she’s not an elected PM) and a Brexit mandate, however this is only if the Conservative party are re-elected as it is possible that another party may win. This election is ultimately a chance for the British public to respond to the result of Brexit by choosing the party they feel will carry the UK forward best in arranging a deal with the rest of the EU as we exit.
Who can I vote for?
There are an array of third parties rising in the UK however this article is discussing the three main political parties in the UK: The Conservative Party, The Labour Party and The Liberal Democrats. If you vote for the Conservatives you will be electing Theresa May as your prime minister, if you vote for the Labour party you will be electing Jeremy Corbyn as your prime minster and if you vote for the Liberal Democrats you will be electing Tim Farron as your leader.
What do the parties stand for?
The Conservative Party are a centre-right party that follow a conservatism philosophy.
Conservatism: 1) a commitment to traditional values and ideas with opposition to change or innovation. 2)the holding of political views that favour free enterprise, private ownership, and socially conservative ideas.
I.e. they hold traditional beliefs and values and believe in a smaller role for the state.
The Labour Party are a centre-left party initially formed by trade unions and socialists, they are often associated with socialism
Socialism: a political and economic theory of social organisation which advocates that the means of production, distribution, and exchange should be owned or regulated by the community as a whole.
I.e. they hold more liberal social views and believe that the state should play a larger role e.g. welfare, government run establishments like the NHS etc.
The Liberal Democrats
The Lib Dems formed in 1988 as a result of the union between The Liberal and Social Democrats parties, although classically Liberal they follow a similar political ideology to the Labour party
Liberal: in a political context favouring individual liberty, free trade, and moderate political and social reform
What are these people planning for our country?
As this election was announced months before it was due to take place the major parties have not yet released manifesto’s however, they have a series of plans and statements about their running of the country on their official sites:
- The Conservative Party claim that “Every single vote for Theresa May and the Conservatives is a vote for strong and stable leadership in the national interest. It is a vote to strengthen Britain’s negotiating position to ensure we get the best Brexit deal possible, and it is a vote to strengthen our economy.”
Their ‘Long-Term Economic Plan’ for the country can be accessed here
- The Labour Party state that “Labour’s aim is to rebuild and transform Britain, for the many not the few”. They go on to introduce ‘Jeremy Corbyn’s 10 Pledges to Transform Britain’, this a list of 10 intentions that Labour have for the country that they say will create their ‘manifesto’
To view Corbyn’s 10 pledges click here
- Whilst The Liberal Democrats say that they are “the only party fighting to keep Britain open, tolerant and united”. Also on their site are their stand points on various issues from the EU to housing
To see the Liberal Democrats response to ‘Issues’ click here
It is incredibly important that we all go and vote, taking part in politics is essential to the democracy of our country. Without voting you can’t have your voice heard in Parliament, we are in ever changing times and it is the younger generations who will be greatest affected by the results of this election. And yet in the previous 2015 election only 44% of 18-24yr olds voted, so go on register and take control of your future.
To register to vote click here and remember you must be over 18 to vote.