Why Students Should Be Voting in the Election

It’s all over the news recently that Theresa May has called for a snap election, and it hasn’t been received too well. One of the reasons for this is definitely that back in September, 2016, May promised that the next election will be in 2020.

The other main reason for the election being called is that May wants to strengthen her position in government ahead of the upcoming triggering of Brexit, where Britain is set to leave the EU’s common market. After David Cameron called for the Brexit vote last year, he resigned due to losing one of the most important campaigns of his political career. Now, May is left to pick up the pieces. But the upcoming election gives us the opportunity to put the job into somebody else’s hands.

Many of the British people are stuck at this moment. Who can we trust? It seems that every politician has their flaws, and the leaders of the main parties don’t seem fit to run our country. But not voting is a wasted vote, of course. That’s why it’s important that every student who is able to vote does. The young people of our country are the ones paving the way for our generation and the one after us. The decisions made now decide our future as a country – a country most of us will live in for the rest of our lives. So how do we decide who to vote for? First off, we look at what the two main parties stand for.

Theresa May – Conservative Party:

  • In the face of leaving the EU, May vies for ‘hard Brexit,’ claiming that there won’t be one foot left in the EU’s common market. She’s in talks with Brussels to begin trade negotiations.
  • May has proposed a cap on energy bills for gas and electricity.
  • Despite moving away from their immigration policies a little, the Conservative party want to cut back on the amount of people we allow into the country, and be selective about who will be invited on to our soil.
  • Theresa May hopes to extend our trade routes outside of Europe and seek friendships globally.
  • The Conservative party plans to bring down the prices of housing.
  • Theresa May hopes to put into place measures to improve the mental healthcare system, prioritising those in schools and in the workplace.

Jeremy Corbyn – Labour Party:

  • In a subtle attack of the Conservative party, Corbyn stated ‘I welcome the prime minister’s decision to give the British people the chance to vote for a government that will put the interests of the majority first. Labour will be offering the country an effective alternative to a government that has failed to rebuild the economy, delivered falling living standards and damaging cuts to our schools and N.H.S.’
  • There’s talk on four new bank holidays being introduced if the Labour party win.
  • Corbyn has stated that he wants to lead the country through the difficult times post-Brexit and fix the mess leaving the EU will bring.
  • In a recent statement, the Labour party claimed that if they get into power, they’ll raise the national minimum wage, which could boost the pay of over 5 million Brits. In this way, Corbyn hopes to cut back on the reliance of benefits and make living standards better.
  • Corbyn also plans to aid younger workers between the ages of 21 and 24 by giving them equal pay to those over the age of 25.
  • The Labour party plan to provide free school meals for all primary school children by adding 20% VAT to private school fees.
  • Corbyn hopes to preserve smaller classrooms, so that each child gets the attention they need to drive their education. More funding will be put into school libraries and keeping good teachers working in schools.

In other election news, the Green Party want to lower the voting age to 16, and the Liberal Democrat leader, Tim Farron, has claimed he won’t enter a coalition with either of the leading parties. This could significantly decrease Labour’s chances of being elected, according to the polls. That means that if you’re a supporter of Labour, they’ll need every vote they can get.

Meanwhile, the Scottish National Party still have hopes of remaining in the EU, so it’s all still up in the air for Scotland. The Green party are seeking coalitions with the Liberal Democrats or the Scottish National Party, while UKIP are on unbalanced grounds since the approval of Brexit and the departure of their controversial leader, Nigel Farage..

Currently in the polls, the Conservative party are way ahead, and looking likely to win. Want to change that? Get down to the polling station on election day.

by Hayley Anderton

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