The UK’s general election will take place on Thursday 12 December 2019. Voting is a fundamental right in our democracy and making your mark can make a HUGE difference to your future. In any election, it’s really important that young people make their voices heard. According to the Electoral Commission, only one in three young people are registered to vote this year, and that means older people could end up having more impact in this election.
For more info about how your vote can help the LGBT community, check out Stonewall’s #ComeOutVoting campaign.
Am I allowed to vote?
You can vote in a UK general election if you are 18 years old or over. You also need to be a British or Irish citizen or a Commonwealth citizen resident in the UK.
Who should I vote for?
In the UK, we vote for Members of Parliament to represent our local constituencies (the areas we live in). There are 650 constituencies represented in Westminster, 59 of which are in Scotland. Not all parties choose to compete in all areas, so it’s important to know who’s available to vote for in yours. You can do that right here.
Ultimately, no one can tell you who to support. The beauty of a democracy is that you have the choice – it’s entirely up to you! Of course, it’s not always easy to decide, so here’s a few tips:
In the end, you’ll need to decide by 12 December so you can cast your vote one way or another.
How do I vote?
Voting is pretty straightforward, but there’s a few things to keep in mind. Firstly, you’ll need to vote in the area you’re registered in, unless you’re a student studying away from home, which means you can choose to vote in your home constituency or the one where you live in for uni.
You can find your local polling station here. Most stations are at public buildings like churches or schools.
If you won’t be able to vote in person on 12 December, you can also choose to vote by post or by proxy.
Of course, some people are still too young to vote, but that doesn’t mean they shouldn’t care about the election.
What if I can’t vote?
Even if you’re too young to vote, or you aren’t eligible for some other reason, that doesn’t mean you can’t be involved. Young people have rights and responsibilities in our society and you should feel free to share your opinions on them!
Most political parties in the UK accept members below the age of 18. Members can usually vote in important leadership races and canvas on behalf of the party.
You could also take part in the Scottish Youth Parliament or your school, college or uni’s campus politics.
Of course, you should also speak your mind on social media and discuss politics at home, in class or wherever! You should never be afraid to share your point of view, as long as you’re willing to hear others’ too. And remember, stay safe and don’t feed the trolls!
Like any election, this one is extremely important. Whatever the UK decides will have a huge impact on our lives in the years to come. If you can, you should play your part in helping make that decision.