Why you should #ShowUp

Submitted by SCM on Monday, March 16, 2015 - 11:28

SCM is part of the Show Up campaign - an initiative to encourage Christians to take an active role in the 2015 General Election. So why should students vote? Sally Foxall takes a look at the bigger picture and finds a compelling case for students to show up.

Did you know that young people between the ages 18-24 are the least likely group among the general population to vote in the General Election? Here are a few facts:

  • Only 32% of young people said they are absolutely certain to vote in the 2015 General Election.
  • 77% of students don’t think politicians can be trusted.
  • In the 2010 General Election 22% of students weren’t eligible to vote because they weren’t registered.
  • Little more than half (51.8%) of 18-24 year olds voted in the 2010 General Election.

I believe this has ensured that students have routinely been ignored by the main political parties and have even been the worst affected as a result of government policies. Youth unemployment for example has reached 16.9% in the UK compared to 5.8% across the other groups.

Despite the fact that young people don’t trust their representatives in parliament I don’t believe this means we as students should not vote. If anything, it should spur us on even more to take part. Unless we vote, how can we as students complain about the state of the country?

The rising power of young people.

Despite this feeling of being disempowered, it has been shown that in the 2015 General Election students will have a much higher likelihood of affecting the results.

For instance, in towns and cities where students make up a high proportion of the population, their participation could swing the vote in 197 UK constituencies in the next General Election.

Furthermore, in 191 constituencies where there are a higher proportion of students as part of the population, their vote could overthrow the major candidate.

Here are a list of 10 particularly influential student universities

  • University of Warwick
  • Cardiff University
  • University of East Anglia
  • University of Edinburgh
  • Lancaster University
  • University of Wolverhampton
  • University of Cumbria
  • University of Sussex
  • University of Bristol
  • University of Sheffield.

Instead of feeling that as Christian students we are often ignored, I would encourage people to find out more information about some of the Christian groups and Christian MPs within the main political parties.

The main Christian political groups are: The Liberal Democrat Christian Forum, Christians on the Left and the Conservative Christian Fellowship, as well as Christians for Plaid which represents Plaid Cymru in Wales. Although the other political parties don’t have specifically Christian focus groups within them there are individual MPs who are Christians.

Therefore please take part in some way in the General Election Campaign even if it’s just registering to vote, it may not seem like much but it does make a difference.

Don’t be afraid of being disempowered. As Christians, we are called to Show Up.

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Tags: show upchristians in politicsgeneral electionstudents