So, the ‘snap’ election is nearly upon us. As you will know, for several reasons, this is a crucial election which could affect, and change Britain’s path for many years to come. Never would I want to tell you how to vote, but do vote! Voting is the hallmark of our democracy. It’s your chance to have a say on how the country is run. If you are still undecided at this late stage, I’d strongly suggest you take the time to have a look at some of the main political party’s manifestos before you head off to the voting booth. Here is a summary of some of the key points from the manifestos.
Conservatives – Aiming to be re-elected under (relatively) new Prime Minister Theresa May, they are basing their manifesto around the idea that the continuation of government is what the country needs to face the many issues the UK faces going ahead, not least with the Brexit negotiations. They argue that no deal is better than a bad deal with the EU, and that being free from the constraints of the EU will give the UK more opportunities to do trade deals with the rest of the world.
Labour – Realistically the only party that could get the Conservatives out of power, the Labour party manifesto offers an alternative to the austerity measures that the Conservatives have implemented over their time in power. Despite the Conservatives maintaining that this was done in the name of pragmatism, the Labour Party argue that investment and a reversal of cuts is what the country needs to get the country back on its feet. They also argue that a ‘softer’ Brexit will be better for the country, as many jobs rely on the single market.
Liberal Democrats – Although not realistically able to get into power, they could ‘prop up’ either the Conservatives or Labour to get into power, just as they did with the Conservatives in 2010. Their manifesto promises a second EU referendum, because they say that with the referendum last year, the electorate were not clear in their minds on what they were actually voting for. Elsewhere, they promise big investments in housing and education.
Scottish National Party (SNP) – It’s no secret that the SNP’s stance is that Scotland should be independent. SNP leader Nicola Sturgeon recently said that it was her aim for Scotland to be independent by 2025. Despite an independence referendum being held in 2014, Sturgeon argues that the Brexit vote (in which Scotland voted remain), renders another one necessary. Elsewhere in their manifesto they promise to protect Scotland’s place in the single market and an alternative to austerity.
Plaid Cymru – Contesting only in Wales, their manifesto promises to fight for the best possible deals for Wales with regards to industry and agriculture in the Brexit negotiations, which count for a lot of jobs in Wales. They also maintain that Wales’ future lies best as an independent country, although they don’t give a clear indication of when they would like an independence referendum at this time.
Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) – The party with the most elected Northern Irish Westminster MPs (8) from the last election, the DUP support the continuation of Northern Ireland as part of the UK. Their manifesto also promises to fight for the possible deal for Northern Ireland in the Brexit negotiations, and to continue to invest in public services.
There are of course many other parties who will be running across the UK but these are a summary of the main ones. It might be worth checking your poll card to see who is running in your constituency so you can check what the local candidates individually pledge to do for your local area. At a crucial time in the UK’s history, every political party offers a different view on what change they will bring to the country. Of course, it is up to you to decide which change is needed. Whatever you do, don’t waste your opportunity to have your say.
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