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Is Sunak delaying the election so students can’t vote?

Now would be a perfect time for it but the prime minister doesn’t want to. Is Sunak delaying the election so students can’t vote?

Think about it.

If he called an election now, to take place in June – or even in July, he’d be guaranteed a large amount of democratic participation. The weather would probably be good on the day, meaning more people would come out, and nobody would be away from their normal home.

But he doesn’t want that.

The Conservative Party is in the toilet – and if he makes an ill-judged move, it will be flushed away in the general election. He wants to discourage people from voting, as much as he possibly can.

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So we are told he wants the election to be in October. We may conclude that he is trying to turn away students and pensioners from the ballot box.

Students have historically voted against Conservative candidates in recent general elections, and a September or October general election date would disrupt them by interfering in their ability to register to vote.

If students are starting university or returning for their second or third years, they will have to register to vote and/or change their addresses on the registry, because they move around a lot – from dorm to digs and back again.

And consider how stressful, how manic the first few weeks of university can be: students may forget or struggle to find the time to register to vote.

Add to that the change in voting rules so we all have to provide valid identification when visiting a polling booth. Students may either forget or not receive the relevant identification documents in time to vote, especially if they’re having to change the address on their driving licenses.

There is also the possibly-outdated belief, held by Conservatives, that a certain percentage of the 18-22 year old demographic that haven’t gone to university aren’t interested in politics at all and won’t bother voting anyway.

This may not help them but it wouldn’t help Labour either so they may see that as a win-win scenario.

Pensioners are less of a concern for the Conservatives because the majority of people aged above pension age have voted Tory in recent general elections.

But there is now growing support among pensioners for Reform UK. This Writer will leave it to you to work out why certain older people would support an anti-European, xenophobic political machine.

A general election in September or October, when the weather is historically unpredictable and/or miserable, may be seen by the Conservatives as an opportunity to reduce the size of the Reform UK vote; Conservative-voting pensioners can be informed in advance to use a postal vote.

The potential loss of voters in each constituency could number in the hundreds or even thousands – and that is easily enough to swing the result in favour of the Tories in marginal constituencies.

What’s to be done about it?

Logically, both students and pensioners could apply for postal votes and use them. That way they would be able to have their say, potentially, before they have had to move anywhere, thus eliminating at least one headache from a very long list.

That seems the easiest solution. There have been concerns about political interference in postal votes – but these have centred on the Tories who have tried to get (guess who?) pensioners to send their postal forms in via local Conservative offices, if I recall correctly.

Other than that, This Site is open to suggestions and looks forward to receiving yours.

(Credit to Jack Moorhouse for inspiring this article.)


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