We’ve compiled a list of reasons why it really is a good idea to vote…
1) Make politicians care
Have you ever felt like politicians aren’t bothered about you? Well, if you’re not registered, why would they be? Only 44% of 18 to 24-year-olds voted in the 2010 general election, compared to 76% of over 65s. If young people aren’t voting, politicians aren’t listening.
2) You can’t complain if you don’t vote
As Brits we love nothing more than having a bit of a moan. But if we don’t vote, then what right do we have to complain if things don’t work out the way we want them to?
3) The establishment doesn’t want you to vote
If you don’t vote, nothing changes. And the establishment wants things to stay the same. Sick of things how they are? The power to make a change is in your hands…
4) Improve your credit rating
Not being on the electoral roll damages your credit rating. Being registered to vote will help you with things like mobile phone contracts, housing and buying a car.
5) This guy’s gonna be voting…
That’s ex-BNP leader Nick Griffin. People on the far right always vote. If you don’t like their opinions and want your own views to be heard, the only way to rebalance this is to have your say at the ballot box on May 7.
6) Not happy with any of the choices available?
If you don’t like what any of the candidates are offering, you can spoil your ballot paper. Cross out all the names on the ballot paper, write or draw something funny or rude on it if you have to. It’s a better way of showing your dissatisfaction than not voting at all. You need to be registered to do this.
7) We’ve not always been able to vote…
Less than 100 years ago, women weren’t allowed to vote. A law was passed in 1918 that allowed female householders over the age of 30 to vote. It wasn’t until 1928 that women over the age of 21 were given the right to vote. On June 14 1913, suffragette Emily Davison died after throwing herself in front of a horse at the Epsom Derby to highlight this inequality.
8) People in other countries still can’t vote
Some people can’t vote in other countries because they’re poor, because of their gender or because they don’t live in a democracy. They’re still fighting for the right to vote. On May 7, vote for you and vote for them.
9) Parties can represent your values and beliefs
Ok, so you may not agree 100% with everything that a political party wants to do. But if you broadly agree with a party’s values and agree with most of its policies, get stuck in and vote. If you’re waiting for perfection, you might be waiting a very long time…
10) You pay your taxes
So it’s your money the Government is spending. Each party has very different plans for how it wants to spend your money. By registering you can have a say on what happens to your hard-earned cash.
11) ‘They’re all the same…’
This isn’t true. Okay, so a lot of politicians might LOOK the same or BEHAVE in a similar way. But even the most basic research shows that the main parties have very different views on topics like the economy, the NHS, Europe, immigration, education and much more.
12) This General Election is too close to call
Everyone agrees. The General Election in May 2015 will be the closest in a very, very long time. Nobody can predict what’s going to happen. This means that now, more than ever, every vote really does make a difference. Don’t waste yours.
13) The number of people who didn’t vote in the last General Election was greater than the number of votes for any individual political party
So imagine what sort of a difference it would make if all these people DO vote in 2015. This has the potential to revolutionise the UK’s entire political landscape.
14) It’s completely free to vote
We cough up money to vote on TV shows like The X Factor and I’m A Celebrity … It costs us nothing to have our say on who runs the country.
15) It really matters
Of course it can be fun to vote on reality TV. But at the end of the day, what difference does it make? Simon Cowell makes his millions no matter which singer you pick up the phone for. The outcome of a General Election affects the lives of millions of people all over the country. It has a direct impact on how much money they have, whether they have a job, what sort of education they receive, the quality of their healthcare and so much more.
16) It doesn’t happen often
General Elections only take place once every five years so make the most of your chance to have a say.
17) Have your say on other things that affect you
Registering to vote means that, as well as being able to affect the result of the General Election on May 7, you can also have your say in local elections and European elections. You’ll also be able to vote in any referendums that take place across the country too.
18) Politicians are nice!
That’s right. It’s not a typo. I know a lot of the headlines we read about politicians and politics in general are negative. But that’s because positive headlines don’t sell newspapers or generate many clicks online. Think about it. ‘MP helps constituent’ – how boring is that?! But in reality, most politicians go into politics for the right reasons. They want to make a difference and help others.
19) Don’t let negative headlines put you off
It’s good to read the news from a variety of different sources and be well informed, but don’t let negative headlines put you off voting. Do your own research, think for yourself and come to your own conclusions. That way you can feel confident that you’re using your vote in the right way for the right reasons.