Making sure everyone understands the General Election

Would you say you’re pretty clued up about the political system in the UK? If you’re reading this blog, it’s fair to assume that you know a bit more about politics than the average bear.

But that’s not true of everyone who uses our sites, and that’s why we’ve put out a Beginners’ Guide to the General Election.

It’s in three short parts — each takes only 5 minutes or so to read — and they cover the background and timetable of the Election; how to make an informed vote; and finally the logistics of actually casting your ballot.

There’s also a summary countdown so you can make sure you’ve done everything you need to.

Think this is a bit simplistic? Through the emails we receive via User Support, we have a really immediate insight into the common questions, worries and misconceptions around UK politics. Some of them are complex and esoteric. Others make us realise that if we haven’t set out the basics, we’re failing in our aim of making democracy easier for everyone to understand.

Equally, if we step away from the mySociety bubble and dip into social media, it’s easy to see the level of confusion around the pending General Election. Questions I’ve seen recently on my local community’s Facebook page include:

Do we vote twice, once for Corbyn/May and once for our local MP?

You don’t have to join a party to vote for it, do you?

Can I vote in my neighbouring constituency to help my chosen party win, if they’re a dead cert in my own constituency?

These were the real spur towards writing a simple explainer. If you come across friends, family or workmates who have similar queries, we hope you’ll find it useful to share our beginners’ guide.

Image: Jay Allen (Crown Copyright)


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