We are urging every LGBT person and our allies to have their voice heard on 12th December. At the last election, only 68.8% of eligible people turned out to vote.
There is still some way to go, but there has been momentous progress for LGBT communities over the past few decades: victories on equal marriage, the repeal of Section 28, and the Equality Act among others. None of this could have been accomplished if we hadn’t spoken up – particularly at the ballot box. Why is voting so important?
VOTING IS THE GREAT EQUALISER
People from LGBT communities have had to fight for many of the rights that people in wider society take for granted. But everybody's vote counts for the same, and no one person gets more votes than another. Many people across history have died for our right to vote for this exact reason: it's how you ensure that those in power still work for you.
POLITICIANS LISTEN TO THOSE WHO REGULARLY TURN OUT TO VOTE
It's pretty simple: politicians need people to vote for them. So they'll listen more to those that vote to keep them in power.
When you look at the issues that typically dominate the manifesto's at election time, it tends to be ones that appeal to those who turn out to vote. If you want change, make your voice heard!
YOUR VOTE REALLY DOES MAKE A DIFFERENCE
Since 1945, there have been fourteen occasions where the winning majority in a constituency seat has been twelve votes or less. Voting not only determines the next Government, but decides who will be standing up for our rights locally. With this election being so important and the margins being so close, national vote share is still incredibly important in determining the views of the electorate thus shaping the direction of the country. LGBT people and our allies can, and will, shape the future of the country.
After years of turmoil and gridlock around Brexit, people may feel more alienated with, and exhausted by, the political process than ever before. It is important to counter that feeling.
“MY VOTE DOESN’T MATTER”
Absolutely not true. 'Every vote for the political party you're aligned with shows support for their policies. If you want politicians to represent your views, vote, no matter who you're voting for. The number of LGBT people in the UK is estimated at 4-6 million. The gap between the two largest parties in the last election was 758,224. Sometimes margins can be very close. For example, in 2017, the seat of North East Fife was won by two votes. Since 1945, there have been fourteen occasions where the winning majority in a constituency seat has been twelve votes or less. Your vote can, and will, count for something.
“POLITICIANS DON’T REPRESENT ME”
No political party will ever represent a person fully on every issue. Look at who is standing in your area. Look into the core values of these parties and at some of what they have accomplished when/if they have been in office. Think about the issues that matter most to you, then go to the political party’s website’s and see their stance on the issues. See which one most resonates with you.
“THEY WON’T LISTEN TO ME”
If you’re not counted, you don’t count. Politicians pay the most attention to those who regularly turn out to vote. If you want to make change, vote for it.
“I DON’T LIKE ANY OF THEM”
It’s unlikely that any one parliamentary candidate or political party will perfectly align with your views. In reality, people make a decision on who to vote for based on all kinds of reasons - sometimes because of the local candidate, sometimes because of the party, sometimes because we don't like the other options. Whatever your reasons or your feelings about the candidates, by voting, you are making your voice heard.
There is no limit on the number of parties that can stand in an election. Look into all the parties and candidates that are standing in your seat. See what they stand for, and you might find one that really speaks to you.
“I LIVE IN A SAFE SEAT, MY VOTE DOESN’T REALLY COUNT”
With this election being so important and the margins being so close, national vote share (the percentage of all votes cast received by each party) is still important in determining the views of the electorate and shaping the direction of the country. On top of this, given the current political instability, it’s possible there will be large, and unexpected changes in the vote in many seats.