Alastair Copland - Vice President Societies & Sport
The next UK General Election will happen before the end of January 2025, which means it could take place during this academic year. We want to make sure that you know how you can take part and ensure your voice is heard.
In 2019, 15.6 million people didn’t turn up and vote. That is more people than any party secured in votes. This campaign is all about promoting why you should turn up and exercise your right to vote and your right to be heard.
General elections give those aged 18 and above a chance to vote for who they’d like to run the country. They happen every five years in the UK and voting takes place on one day.
Voting is carried out in constituencies (constituencies are voters in a specified area of the country who elect a parliamentary candidate) and the UK is divided into 650 constituencies. Each constituency has a Member of Parliament (MP) who belongs to a political party, and who represents them in the House of Commons.
In the UK, a system called ‘first past the post’ is used. This means that the candidate that gets the most votes, becomes the MP for that area and gains a seat in the House of Commons. To win the general election, a political party must reach 326 elected MPs. The leader of that political party then becomes our Prime Minister.
It gives you the opportunity to have your say in who leads the country, who will make decisions that impact you and who will represent you.
Our future will be built by students and young people of today, but only if they are heard. Voting gives power, influence and a stake in society.
There’s a lot going on at the moment, and this election will determine how the government approaches issues that will directly impact you as students including:
To kick off, we're spreading the word on how to register to vote. We've already been out on campus with SU on Tour to chat with students about registering and their rights when it comes to voting.
How do I register to vote?
Head to the government website and fill out a short form – it won’t take any more than five minutes and all you need is your National Insurance number.
I’m already registered at home...
You can register at both your home address and your uni address so that when it’s time to vote you can choose where to vote based on where you’re at during that time.
I’m a first-year student and I live in halls
If you are a first-year student living in halls, you would’ve been able to opt in to register to vote when you enrolled as a student which means you’re already registered!
The next phase of the campaign is to build a student manifesto. This is to establish which issues are most important to the student body at Royal Holloway and what you think the next government to focus on.
We'll be bringing back another SU on Tour event at the library on 21 November so you have the chance to feedback on what you want to see change.
Phase Three is all about using the Student Manifesto to influence parliamentary candidates to ensure they are talking about topics that matter to students. We will be reaching out to all of the local parties to hear their responses to your manifesto.
The government is required to call the election with 25 working days' notice. This means we don’t currently know when the election will be but we’re getting ready so we can jump into action as soon as it is announced. The current theories are the election could be held in May or October – either way, we’ll be prepared to support Royal Holloway students to Turn Up!
Can international students vote? Students from Commonwealth countries, British Overseas Territories and the Republic of Ireland can vote in all UK elections.
Can I vote at home and at uni? No. You can register in two places but only vote in one of them!
What do I need to be able to vote? You will need to bring photo ID with you.
If you want to get involved in this campaign or find out more then please do get in touch by emailing email@example.com.
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