Why you should vote: a brief history of small majorities
Today is the deadline for UK citizens to register to vote. To vote in the General Election on 12th December you need to register by 11.59pm today. To register for a postal vote if you're in in England, Scotland or Wales, you need to register by 5pm today. If you're in Northern Ireland, alas, it's too late for the postal vote but I believe you can still register to vote at a polling station.
- Register to vote on the GOV.UK,
- Check to see if you're registered on GOV.UK,
- ...and if you want a little extra guidance see General election 2019: Who can register to vote in a general election? from the BBC.
Here is why it matters, and it is quite simply: your vote counts. If you want rid of the evil Tories, vote to get them out. If you hate Labour, send the message by voting against them. If you just want Brexit to happen, vote for a pro-Brexit party. If you want a second referendum or you don't want it to happen at all, vote for the party that promises that.
Here's another reason why you should vote: historically, some majorities have been tiny.
- In 2019 in a a council election in Hambleton, North Yorkshire Labour and the Conservatives tied, meaning the returning officer had to randomly choose between two blank envelopes with one candidate's name in each (Labour won).
- The same happened in 1886 in Ashton-under-Lyne: the Conservative and Liberal candidates tied and the mayor was given the casting vote (the Conservatives won).
- In 1910 in Exeter the Conservative candidate beat his opponent by 1 vote.
- In 1931 Labour won Ilkeston by 2 votes.
- In 2017 in North East Fife the SNP beat the Liberal Democrats by 2 votes.
- In 1997 in Winchester the Liberal Democrats won by 2 votes.
- In 1974 in Carmarthen Labour won by 3 votes.
- In 1966 in Peterborough the Conservatives won by 3 votes.
- In 2010 in Fermanagh and South Tyrone Sinn Féin won by 4 votes.
- In 1945 in Worcester the Conservatives won by 4 votes.
- Also in 1945 in Caithness and Sutherland the Conservatives won by 4 votes.
- In 1983 in Leicester South the Conservatives won by 7 votes.
- In 1964 in Brighton Kemptown Labour won by 7 votes.
- In 1974 in Bodmin the Liberals won by 9 votes.
- In Reading in 1964 the Conservatives won by 10 votes.
- In 1945 in Manchester Rusholme Labour won by 10 votes.
- In 1964 in Eton and Slough the Conservatives won by 11 votes.
- In 1997 in Torbay the Liberal Democrats won by 12 votes.
- In 1959 in South East Derbyshire the Conservatives won by 12 votes.
- In 1970 in Ipswich the Conservatives won by 13 votes.
- In 1964 in Preston North the Conservatives won by 14 votes.
- In 1945 in Northwich the Conservatives won by 15 votes.
And more recently, in the 2017 election:
- Kensington was won by Labour by just 20 votes. 21,575 did not vote.
- Perth and North Perthshire was won by the SNP by 21 votes. 19,900 did not vote.
- Dudley North was won by Labour by 22 votes. 22,947 did not vote.
- Newcastle-under-Lyme was won by Labour by 30 votes. 21,183 did not vote.
- Southampton, Itchen was won by the Conservatives by 31 votes. 24,675 did not vote.
- Richmond Park was won by the Conservatives by 45 votes. 16,366 did not vote.
- Crewe and Nantwich was won by Labour by 48 votes. 23,244 did not vote.
- Glasgow South West was won by the SNP by 60 votes. 27,391 did not vote.
- Glasgow East was won by the SNP by 75 votes. 29,814 did not vote.
- Arfon was won by Plaid Cymru by 90 votes. 12,953 did not vote.
Your vote counts. Don't ever think it doesn't.