It is now just a month until the 2019 General Election, with the deadline for registering to vote coming up on 26th November. For students, many of whom will be voting for the first time in this election, there is plenty to think about as we decide what direction to take the country in.
The Guardian has introduced a tool that will help students decide where to cast their vote this December. Students have the privilege of being able to register in both their home and university constituencies – although, of course, they can only vote once – so they must decide where they want their voice to be heard. For example, a student from London studying at the University of Leeds can choose whether they want to vote in London or Leeds.
The intricacies of our electoral system mean that votes effectively count for more in some seats than they do in others. Therefore, The Guardian has created a tool available to students so that they can find out where their vote will have the most impact.
Given the importance of this election, lots of voters will want to do everything in their power to ensure that their vote is not wasted, and this tool will help students exercise their democratic rights to the fullest extent. This tool will help students to understand the effect their vote has.
The reason votes have more power in some constituencies than others is because the UK’s first-past-the-post system for general elections gives one seat in parliament to the candidate with the most votes in each constituency. Therefore, votes for losing candidates are not represented in parliament, while excess votes for a winning candidate also have no impact on the result. In short, the tighter the seat (or the more marginal it is) the more each individual vote counts.
It is important that students are aware of where their vote will make the greatest difference, and act accordingly.
The Guardian’s tool can be used so that student voices are heard as loudly as possible, so along with being able to register at both their addresses and by post if necessary, it means that they have the option of voting where it matters most.
The student voting tool can be found at: https://www.theguardian.com/politics/ng-interactive/2019/nov/07/should-you-vote-at-home-or-at-uni-students?fbclid=IwAR1ls51YrwFXKZWwG2-Hq18adtvarMoA8uflx0wmzqrmUxOETmug2xELN50
Image: The Guardian