Before you vote

polling

By this time next week there will only be a few hours left to put your cross on the ballot paper in what might turn out to be the most decisive general election in a generation. All of the hustings will be over and the national coverage will be focused on guessing which party will come out on top and talk of the will of the people. 

December 12th is going to be a long and interesting day. I, like many, expect to stay up well into the following morning to see the drama unfold.

Of course there is no will of the people. There is no collusion except perhaps on a hyper-local level. Instead, the results will be decided by millions of individual votes, cast in 650 separate local elections. If the 2017 election is anything to go by, the majority of people will be disappointed and we will once again be governed by a party with a minority of the votes. Such is the unfairness of our first past the post system.

You have a week left then to decide upon your candidate. Remember though that, unless you live in Uxbridge and South Ruislip, Islington North or East Dunbartonshire, you are not voting for Johnson, Corbyn or Swinson. Any of these candidates could lose their seat and would be unable to act as the leader of their party. Neither are you being asked to pick the party that you think is going to win but rather to choose the candidate that best represents your aims and values.

The simple questions then are, do you know what it is that you want and do you know what each candidate has to offer, both as an individual and as a party? The information is available online, on leaflets, in hustings and, if you are honoured, by speaking to the candidates themselves. We all need to do our homework and vote from a position of knowledge. Whoever wins will be around for another five years.

Please, check out the manifestos for all of your local candidates and cast your vote for the person who will serve your area best.

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