How do you make sure your vote counts in this General Election? Make sure you Register and Vote!

  1. First and foremost make sure you are registered to vote, remember:
    • Students are entitled to register at both their university address and their home address;
    • If you have moved, or changed your name or nationality since you last registered, you need to register again;
    • You can register to vote by following this link and there are details of the deadlines for registering.
  2. Secondly, make sure you vote.
  3. If on polling day you won’t be where you are registered, make sure you have a postal or proxy vote.

There are arguments for and against postal and proxy votes.

Voting by Post

With a postal vote there are delays in sending you the papers. They can’t be sent out until after the list of candidates has been finalised (14th November closing date for nominations), and then the ballot papers have to be printed. The papers must be sent back so that they arrive by the close of polling. More information about the closing dates for applications can be found on the Electoral Commissions site here.

N.B. It may be possible to scan and email your application but check with the electoral services team at your local council to find out, you can search for the contact details here.

You have no control over the postal system which may delay you getting the papers and/or getting them back in time.

You can find more details online at the Electoral Commissions site – How to cast your vote – voting by post.

Voting by Proxy

With a proxy vote you need a trusted person to vote on your behalf.

You can register a proxy vote up until 5pm 4th December, but you have to make the application by post. The proxy vote authorisation is sent to your nominated proxy by post. More information about the closing dates for applications can be found on the Electoral Commissions site here .

N.B. It may be possible to scan and email your application but check with the electoral services team at your local council to find out, you can search for the contact details here.

When you apply for a proxy vote you must provide a reason. You can find more details online at the Electoral Commissions site – How to cast your vote – voting by proxy

The person you wish to appoint as your proxy can only act as proxy if they are 18 or over, and are registered to vote, and can get to your polling station, and are eligible to vote in the General Election. A person cannot be a proxy for more than two people at any one election or referendum, unless they are a close relative (spouse, civil partner, parent, grandparent, brother, sister, child or grandchild). The person doesn’’t need to be registered to vote in your constituency.

Your proxy must go to your local polling station to vote. Your proxy will be sent a proxy poll card, telling them where and when to vote. You must let your proxy know how you want them to vote on your behalf, for example, for which candidate or party.

If you do not have a friend or family member that you can ask to be your proxy, there is another option. Once you have decided which party you wish to support, you can contact the party’s local constituency office – a quick internet search will help you find the contact details. Contact the office and ask them to supply the details for somebody who would be prepared to be the proxy for you. The party constituency organisation has a vested interest in making sure that your vote is cast for them, so this a reliable alternative method.

Acting as a Proxy for another voter

It’s very simple to vote as someone’s proxy. You will be sent a special proxy poll card with details of where you should go to vote. Just tell the staff at the polling station that you are voting as a proxy and they will tell you what to do. Don’t forget to take your proxy poll card – this will make it easier for polling place staff to find the right ballot paper.

If I’m a student should I vote in my university constituency or my home constituency?

If you are a student registered at your university’s constituency and at your home constituency, you have a further choice to make – where will my vote be most effective?

Is your university’s constituency a marginal seat and your home constituency a safe seat, or vice-versa?

Tactical Voting

Tactical voting is not an exact science.

It depends on the result you want to achieve and the relative strengths of the parties in your constituency or constituencies:

  • Do you want to increase the number of pro-remain/leave MPs?
  • Do you want a particular party to form a government?
  • Do you want to stop a particular party from forming a government?

None of these things are simple binary options and, as with most things, there may be both intended and unintended consequences of the choices we make.

Whatever your purpose in voting tactically, you have to take a pragmatic view of what is possible in the constituency.

If you want to increase the number of pro-EU/pro-referendum MPs, there is no point in voting for your preferred party unless that will ensure that a pro-EU/pro-Referendum party will win in your constituency.

If you don’t want the Tories to form the next government, you need to vote for the party that has the best chance of beating them in your constituency.

This is where pragmatism as opposed to party loyalty plays a crucial part in your decision.

Even then, pro-Brexit votes being split between the Tories and the Brexit Party may help the pro-EU/pro-Referendum parties if the pro-EU/pro-Referendum candidates can concentrate their votes behind a single candidate in your constituency.

Conversely, splitting the pro-EU/pro-Referendum vote may unintentionally help the Tories or the Brexit Party.

But we may not know who is standing in which constituency until after the closing date for declaring candidates on 14th November.

There are also some 60 MPs not standing again, plus a number who are standing as Independent (for example Dominic Grieve) against their former party, or standing for a new party in a new constituency, for example Chuka Umunna.

Especially in these cases, but in general in the current climate, all predictions are unreliable, especially about the future (for those who remember E F Schumacher).

Some tactical voting sites, such as Best for Britain’s Get Voting, make projections based on polling data, others, such as Tactical Vote , are based on the results of the 2017 General Election. Sometimes the results match, sometimes they don’t. There is no conclusive way of saying one approach is better than the other.

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Published by Grahame Pigney on behalf of The People’s Challenge Ltd.

This entry was posted in Brexit, Democracy, Parliamentary Sovereignty, People's Challenge, Political Integrity, What Is Best For Our Country, What is Best for the UK? and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

1 Response to How do you make sure your vote counts in this General Election? Make sure you Register and Vote!

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