3 Ways to Vote in the UK General Election


On the 8th June, Britain will continue on in its tradition of fantastic ideas and vote in Theresa May's snap general election. We shall be voting for our new local Members of Parliament and, subsequently, our new Prime Minister and governing political party. Basically, we have the future of the country on our shoulders at present and, given our track record *cough* EU Referendum, that's a pretty terrifying prospect. So, to cut through all the chatter, I thought it might be useful to look at some of our voting options. Please bear in mind that I am a big bleeding heart lefty liberal so, this is all a bit Gryffindor-centric. Don't say I didn't warn you.

Protest Voting
Are you apathetic about all the candidates? Good. Apathy is one of the best reasons to engage on polling day because you can protest vote. If you don't like the choices in front of you, don't know who to vote for, or want to make it clear we need another option, turn up and say so. Protest votes count in the UK and will be counted with everyone else voting next Thursday. Your vote can have the power to change things because we tabulate them according to proportional majority. So, don't stay at home. Don't spoil the ballot paper (because it'll get tossed in the bin). To vote for no one, fill out your ballot like the picture below.
There is reason this option is permitted to voters. There are remedies to your apathy or frustration that could open up a dialogue and get you exactly what you want. So, don't just grumble about it at home, show up and be counted. For more information on this, head to votenoone.org.uk

Straight-Ticket Voting
Welcome to the missionary position of the electoral world. This is basically voting for every candidate that belongs to your one party of choice. Whether you support your political party as faithfully as your football club, or have your heart set on a particular party leader and their manifesto, this one is all about voting for your team and hoping for the best overall result. So, fair enough and good luck to you. Knowing your mind is incredibly important, as is standing by the policies, party, and candidate you believe in.

Tactical Voting
This is a method of voting employed to block a particular party from gaining the majority. It hinges on the principal that, "all votes for anyone other than the runner-up are votes for the winner" so can often mean not voting for your personal preference in your area, but voting for the greater good. Our current government knew the man that bombed Manchester last week, his community reported him on five separate occasions. Our National Health Service is in shambles. We don't invest enough in sustainable and renewable energy sources, and we are one of the biggest arms dealers in the world. I don't know about you, but I would rather eat Paddy Ashdown's hat than inflict another Tory regime on this country. So if, like me, you want to keep the Death Eaters, I mean Slytherin out; you can vote tactically within your constituency to ensure they won't win that particular seat, and therefore an overall majority.
A remarkable 28 year old woman, Becky Snowden, made a spreadsheet detailing how to stop the Tories. Her spreadsheet quickly went viral and is now a fully functioning website, where you can enter your postcode and it will tell you which party you need to vote for in your area. For more information, and to find how you should vote in your constituency, head to: Tactical2017.com

Whichever way you chose to vote next Thursday, what matters is that you get out there and actually do it. In 2015, only 66.4% of us voted. Which means around one third of British people eligible to vote, didn't bother. I don't know about you, but I find that both embarrassing and infuriating in equal measure.

Ladies- People have literally died to secure this right for you, do not let them down. Your voice is so important and deserves to be heard at every level.
POCs- We are notoriously absent when it comes to election day and 2015 was no exception, 1.4 million of us didn't vote at all. So, please get off your beautiful brown bums and vote this time. Can I bribe you with kulfi and gulab jaman? Because I'll bring some to your house if I have to.
Tories- We need to take care of our vulnerable people. The NHS should be thriving; but instead we are slashing budgets left, right, and centre and punishing the sick and infirm. Does that sound right to you? If it does, then I bid you good day, you absolute Dickensian tableau of woe.

Beautiful British public, if we can get our shit together for Boaty McBoatface, we can do the same here. Whichever way you chose to vote, the power to change the course of British history is in your hands next Thursday. I hate to get all Bill and Ted on you but, yes, it really is that dramatic. So, please, I implore you from the bottom of my heart; show up, vote, and be counted. Because we don't have a time travelling phone booth yet, so there are no do-overs.

If you need more information on polling station opening times, or how to fill out your ballot paper, head to: yourvotematters.co.uk or this really useful general election guide at: parliament.uk

Good luck everyone. Let's not completely balls this one up, ok?


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