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A Students’ Guide to the General Election
Want to vote in the General Election? Here’s what you need to know...

posted 19th April 2017 at 9:00am

 

How do I register to Vote?

YOU CAN REGISTER TO VOTE HERE

Only those registered are able to vote. If you have previously registered, you will not be required to sign up again.

You can check if you’re already registered by visiting the ELECTORAL COMMISSION’S website.

 

Do I Register to Vote at my Uni Address, or my Home Address?

If you have a permanent home address and a term-time address, you can lawfully register at both addresses. However, you can only vote once in the election. It is an offence to vote twice*.

 

When Do I Need to Register to Vote By?

As it stands, there is currently no official deadline. However, if we are to base the date on previous trends, the deadline will be 12 days before the Election Day. Currently, that leaves us at:

Monday 22nd May

However, this may be likely to change.

 

What if I’m on Holiday?

Should you be out of the country, or find yourself in a situation where you unable to vote on Election Day, you can either vote by proxy, or post your vote in advance.

Vote by proxy: You may appoint someone else registered to vote on your behalf.

Vote by post: Pop your vote in the post ahead of time.

To vote by proxy or post, you can DOWNLOAD THE FORM here.

 

What is a General Election?

A general election is the way that the British public decides who they would like to represent them in parliament.

Once you have registered, you’ll be able to vote on a single candidate to represent your local area. The candidate with the most votes will become your local MP.

After votes have been tallied, the leader of the political party with the most successful MPs will then be asked by the Queen to become the Prime Minister and run the country.

 

Why are General Elections important for students?

General Elections will decide which political party has the biggest voice in parliament. Every party has their own ideals and beliefs on which topics should take more priority over others (e.g. healthcare over education, or immigration over funding).

The selected Government will be able to make decisions based around topics which directly affect students. Things like: student funding, university fees, surveillance and security, etc.

It is important to do your research and look into what each political party stands for. If you feel strongly about a certain cause or topic, have a look at what each party have written in their manifestos. You can sometimes find handy tools online which help narrow down voting choices by asking questions which relate to a party’s manifesto.

 

Dates to remember

Deadline to register to vote – Monday 22nd May (predicted)

Deadline to post your vote – Wednesday 24th May

Voting day – Thursday 8th June

 

Useful links

https://www.gov.uk/register-to-vote

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-39631768

https://www.yourvotematters.co.uk/register-to-vote/find-your-local-authority

 

* The current fine for voting twice in an election stands at £5000.

 

Whilst keen to foster discussion and debate for the personal development of students, as a charity, ULSU is unable itself to take a stance on the General Election. Please note that none of the arguments set out above represents the views or opinions of ULSU, its trustees, employees or agents. There is a wealth of information available at the links above and other external sources which ULSU would encourage students to access, should they wish to know more about the subject.