Many young people are unaware that General Elections traditionally take place every five years, and although some would blame it on the youth’s lack of interest for politics, other’s would put it down to the less-than-traditional political climate we are in. For example, knowing such a fact almost seems pointless given that the 12th of December will see the UK’s third General Election since 2015.
However, traditional or not, it seems like a good idea to at least know roughly what’s going on, that’s the purpose of this article. Below you will find a rough explanation of what you can expect to take place over the coming months and what that might mean for us in the long run.
Why are we having another General Election?
Essentially – and I’m using the word very, very loosely – it has been agreed upon that a General Election will be the best way of sorting out our situation with the EU. This is the case because politicians are divided: some want the UK to leave the EU as soon as possible, some want to cancel Brexit altogether and others want to let the people vote again.
On the Conservative side, we have Prime Minister Boris Johnson who doesn’t have enough MPs to easily pass new laws. He hopes that a General Election will allow the Conservative party to grow, therefore allowing him to gain enough supporters and seats to make passing his new laws possible.
On the Labour side of things, Jeremy Corbyn is leading the way and we see that their aim is to basically win enough seats to either call the whole EU thing off, or more likely, ask the public to vote again on whether we should leave or stay in the EU.
Now obviously there are other parties, however, the polls currently show that it will almost definitely be either the Conservative or Labour party taking home the majority, with the Liberal Democrats being the only other plausible option.
How do General Elections work?
In a general election, the UK’s 46 million voters are invited to choose an MP for their area – one for each of the 650 different constituencies. Anyone aged 18 or over can vote, as long as they are registered and a British citizen or qualifying citizen of the Commonwealth or Republic of Ireland.
Once the votes are counted, an MP for each area is elected and subsequently given a place at the House of Commons. Each MP can actually be independent, however, most of the time they represent and run their campaign as a part of a larger political party. If over half of these 650 MPs belong to the same political party then that’s the party that will be forming the new government.
If this isn’t the case then the party with the most MPs can form a coalition, a term that just means a partnership with one of the other less-successful parties. This way, when the MPs from both parties are combined they make up over half of the required 650.
Last but definitely not least, once a party has been crowned, the MPs within it get to decide amongst themselves who they believe should lead the party, and therefore, the country.
If you are interested in how all of these events may unfold then stay tuned as we will keep you up to date all the way.