“My Vote Won’t Make a Difference”

Charlotte Ambrose (She/Her )

This is why you should vote in the General Election.

Polling Station Sign
(Image: PIXABAY)

This morning, at 7 a.m., polling station doors swung open across the country. As you read this, people from all constituencies are flocking to their local voting stations to cast their votes. But how many of these people will be under the age of 25? 

The 2024 General Election is underway. The last General Election took place in 2019, but, as I’m sure you know, many things have changed since then. The worldwide COVID-19 pandemic and the recent cost-of-living crisis are just two examples. Another important difference between this election and the last one is that now, many of us are eligible to vote. 

In the last general election, 47% of people between the ages of 16 and 25 voted. Less than half of the people in this age division turned up to cast their ballot, suggesting that young people view the voting system as pointless.

During this political debate, it is not uncommon to hear people say things like ‘my vote won’t actually make a difference’. I’m sure that many of us, myself included, have at one point or another asked ourselves, ‘why should I vote if the odds of my single vote making any tangible difference to the outcome of this election is infinitesimally low?’ 

In other words, why should I vote if my vote isn’t going to make a difference? 

First of all, it is important to break down how the general election works. When you make your vote, you’re not actually voting for who you think should be the Prime Minister; you’re voting for who you want to represent you in your local constituency. So, whilst your vote probably won’t be the deciding vote in a general election, it will have an impact on your local constituency and make a difference to the issues that the local MPs prioritise.  

The elected MPs will make important decisions on issues, such as housing and education; voting shows where your specific views lie and whose policies you align yourself with. 

If a large number of young people turn out to vote, this will impact the policies that politicians campaign about and implement for young people in the next election. Equally, if a consistently low percentage of young people vote, politicians will be less inclined to implement policies that appeal to young people in the future.   

Every year, millions of people don’t vote, and those millions of single votes could have completely changed the election result. 

Voting is one of the easiest ways to make your voice heard by the government en masse. Let us not forget that, for many of us, the right to vote is a privilege that brave individuals had to risk their lives and fight for. 

I’m not going to tell you who to vote for. But I highly encourage everyone to go to the polling station. That way, even if your candidate doesn’t win, your vote can’t be ignored or dismissed.

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