General Election 2017: An A to Z guide
- Credit: Archant
With less than a week to go before the nation goes to the polls, we’ve summarised some of the key points since the snap election was announced by Theresa May on April 18.
A is for...Apathy. Following an EU referendum, the 2015 General Election and a Scottish independence referendum, Westminster ground to a halt this spring for a fourth year in a row, leaving many of the electorate with distinct sense of ‘not again’. This feeling was typified by...
B is for...Brenda. With her cries of ‘Not another one’ and ‘there’s too much politics going on’, Brenda from Bristol struck a cord with the nation when she was informed of the snap election by the BBC back in April.
C is for...Conservatives. With a relatively slender majority of 17 seats in the House of Commons, the Conservatives are hoping to extend their power as the leading party ahead of upcoming Brexit negotiations. When she called the election on April 19, Theresa May said: “At this moment of enormous national significance there should be unity here in Westminster, but instead there is division.”
D is for...Debates. Who was and wasn’t isn’t debating live on TV became a big focus of the election campaign, with Theresa May refusing to go head-to-head on policy, much to the chagrin of the other leaders.
E is for...Europe. One year after the EU Referendum and with less than two weeks until Brexit negotiations begin, Europe has been a key debating point across all parties. The Conservatives say no deal is better than a bad one, while Labour are looking to find a plan based on ‘mutual interests’. The Liberal Democrats would like to see a second referendum once negotiations have finished, and whatever happens, the Scottish National Party may look for a second independence referendum once negotiations have concluded.
F is for...Farron, Tim. The Liberal Democrat leader is looking to claw back seats for his party after a huge loss in 2015 and is leading the charge for a second referendum on Brexit once negotiations have finished. Impressed in the leader’s debate with his personal take on key issues such as the NHS, and for referencing the Great British Bake Off.
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G is for....Green Party. The Green Party, co-lead by Caroline Lucas and Jonathan Bartley, are pledging to reverse privatisation to the NHS, dental services and transport links; bring education back under local authority control, abolish SATs and reduce class sizes and phase in a four-day working week while abolishing zero hours contracts.
H is for...Healthcare. The NHS and mental health and social care provision has been another big debating point over the course of the campaign. Labour have committed to reversing privatisation of the NHS, and the Lib Dems want to ring fence an extra 1p on the rate of income tax especially for the NHS. The Conservatives have pledged an £8bn increase in funding but have come under fire for their stance on social care.
I is for...Immigration. Another key policy point for respective parties. The Conservatives want to reduce net migration to tens of thousands, while UKIP aim to reduce migration to zero over a five-year period. Labour will introduce funding in areas where immigration has put a strain on public services, while the Lib Dems remain supportive of freedom of movement between the UK and EU.
J is for...Jeremy Corbyn. The Labour party leader has come under scrutiny on his leadership, as well as his stance on defence, but his ‘for the many, not the few’ campaign has gone far better than many would have initially predicted.
K is for...Key Battlegrounds. As with every election, there are a number of key seats that could swing this week’s result. The Conservatives will be targeting seats where Labour won with a small majority 2015, as well as those the party won ahead of a strong UKIP vote. Labour meanwhile, will be looking to win back the seats where they suffered shock losses in 2015 such as Gower and Ed Balls’ former constituency of Morley and Outwood.
L is for...Labour. With a promise to serve for the many and not the few, the party’s pledges include more funding for the NHS, education and a bid to win back public services. The plans have been scotched by the Conservatives, who say the party think there is a...
M is for...Magic Money Tree. A very much mythical object, which became a Conservative sound-bite in response to the pledges made by Labour in their manifesto.
N is for....Nicola Sturgeon. Sturgeon’s SNP party virtually wiped out Labour in Scotland in 2015, and if the Conservatives do end up falling short of an overall majority, the party will have a key say in whether or not there’s a coalition government. However, if they lose too many of their 54 seats, their call for independence could take a backward step.
O is for...Opinion Polls. Depending on which poll you look at, the nation is either heading for a hung parliament or a Conservative landslide. However, as the last election and the EU referendum showed us, all of these could be wrong.
P is for...Polling Day. Weeks of campaigning will come to a close on Thursday, when Britain goes to the polls. Polling Stations are open from 7am to 10pm.
Q is for...Quizzed. The election campaign has seen high-profile MPs grilled on their policies. Shadow home secretary Diane Abbott was grilled over the cost of extra police officers, while the backlash from Theresa May’s ‘dementia tax’ forced the party into a U-turn.
R is for...Referendum. Last year’s EU referendum vote very much paved the way for this year’s General Election, with David Cameron stepping down and Theresa May taking the reigns as the PM. Depending on the results in Scotland, another Scottish referendum on independence could be in the not-too-distant future.
S is for...Strong and Stable. The Conservative mantra over the course of the election campaign. The words ‘strong and stable’, together with ‘leadership’ have been thrown around plenty of times since the campaign was launched.
T is for...Tactical Voting. Britain’s First Past the Post (FPTP) election system tends to encourage tactical voting, with people not wanting to waste their vote. Tactical voting could be a big factor now the conservative lead has subsided slightly, with more liberal voters plumping for the strongest opposition to the Tories.
U is for...UKIP. The UK Independence Party were without a seat in the House of Commons when parliament was dissolved. After a disappointing showing in May’s county council elections, could a bad General Election spell the end for the party?
V is for...Victory. An obvious one, but what each party will be hoping to achieve by Friday morning, so they can take their place on the benches to the right of the speaker in...
W is for...Westminster. The winning party, all being well, will take control of Westminster until 2022 if they secure a majority victory.
X is for...well...X. The most important letter of all in many respects. Each candidate with the most X’s next to their name will be representing you in parliament, regardless of which party they represent.
Y is for...Youth Vote. Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn has a strong following among young people, even gracing the cover of magazines such as NME in recent weeks. If Labour are to make enough gains to prevent the Conservatives from gaining an overall majority, they will need a strong turnout from young voters.
Z is for...’zzz’. With results announced gradually from around midnight until 10am, spare a thought for all those involved in each constituency’s respective results count for working throughout the night to ensure the overall outcome can be reached as soon as possible while you’re tucked up in bed.