VOTE in the London elections Thursday, 1 May

London elections Thursday, 1 May

Politics may not be your bag. You may find it all overwhelming and depressing these days. You may prefer to vote for ice-dancing celebrities than boring people in suits. But it is more important than ever that you vote in this year’s London elections on May 1.

It is more important than ever that you vote in this year’s London elections on May 1

Whether you love Red Ken, find Boris charmingly hilarious, or fancy the pants off Brian Paddick (I do, all of the above, oddly).

You don’t even have to vote for mayor, if you can’t stomach it. Write “screw you, New World Order” on your mayoral ballot. But vote in the London Assembly vote, and vote to keep out the BNP.

That means voting for anyone else. This is because the London Assembly has ‘proportional representation': any party that gets 5% of first choice votes is in with a chance of an assembly seat under the system.

According to the BBC, at the last London elections the BNP got 4.8% of the vote and the party is confident it will get at least one seat this May. The BNP has tried hard to change their image and hide their white supremacist hate views. Check out Searchlight’s Stop the BNP site to learn about the real BNP and their candidates.

Your vote does count in the London elections. The more people vote, the less likely it is that extremest parties of all kinds will win seats. The BNP is working hard to get out every single voter that will support them. All we have to do to stop them is get out every single voter that will support anyone else!

You don’t even have to be a British citizen; if you are a Commonwealth or EU citizen you can also vote. You must register to vote, but you have lots of time until the April16 deadline. (Being on the register of voters also helps with things like loan and mortgage applications.)

If you have never voted before, this is your chance to vote and know that it will make a difference!

8 Comments so far

  1. edinburgh on April 3rd, 2008 @ 2:06 pm

    "This is because the London Assembly has ‘proportional representation’: any party that gets 5% of first choice votes is in with a chance of an assembly seat under the system."

    This statement is seriously misleading – there are NO "first choice votes" in the London Assembly election.

    Each voter has two votes in this election: one for a constituency member of the assembly and one for the London-wide members of the Assembly. It is the votes on the London-wide ballot papers that will determine how many seats each party will get, taking into account any seats already won in the constituency contests.

    It is very unhelpful and completely misleading to talk about "first choice votes" or "first votes" and "second votes" in an election like this. The two votes are a "constituency vote" and a "London-wide vote". These two votes have very different effects on the results.

    Remember – it is the "London-wide vote" that determines the overall party representation on the Assembly.


  2. Flora Graham (flobud) on April 3rd, 2008 @ 3:01 pm

    Here is a quotation from the BBC London election Q&A that may be helpful. Or maybe not?

    When it comes to voting for the London Assembly, each ballot paper offers two choices. Voters can pick a candidate and also a party to support. There are 14 constituencies and the candidate with the most votes in each area will be elected.

    A further 11 seats are available under the proportional representation system. These will be allocated from the second votes to the different parties under a complicated method known as the d’Hondt formula. Assembly members will be chosen from a further list of candidates held by each party. If party A receives two seats, then the first two people on its list are elected, and so on.


  3. edinburgh on April 3rd, 2008 @ 3:23 pm

    The wording of that section of the BBC’s Q&A is unfortunate and certainly unhelpful. Indeed, the first statement is completely wrong: "for the London Assembly, each ballot paper offers two choices". There are two ballot papers for the Assembly election, and you do have two votes, but you can make only ONE choice on each ballot paper.

    It is also unhelpful to refer to the "London-wide votes" as "second votes". As I said in the earlier post, these votes are almost certainly more important than the constituency votes because it is the "London-wide votes" that determine how many seats each party will get.

    I suspect the person who wrote that part of the BBC’s Q&A did not really understand how the Additional Member System (AMS) works. It is, of course, confusing because you also have the election for the Mayor on the same day, and there you do have two "choices" and both are marked on the same ballot paper.


  4. Flora Graham (flobud) on April 3rd, 2008 @ 3:36 pm

    Interesting; let’s try to clear this up since, I am all about the Election Fever.

    Here’s a page from London Elects, the independent election organiser/helpery thing.

    You have two votes for the London Assembly – one for a local Constituency member, and one for the London-wide "top-up" list.

    You will receive two ballot papers – one yellow and one peach coloured.

    The yellow ballot paper lists all the constituency candidates standing for election in your local area. You have one vote. Vote for one candidate by marking a cross (X) in the box next to his or her name.London-wide ballot paper

    The peach-coloured ballot paper is the same for everyone in London. It lists all the political parties and independent candidates standing in the London-wide election.

    You have one vote. Vote for one party or individual by marking a cross (X) in the box next to the party or candidate’s name.

    "One yellow and one peach-coloured," heh. What do we think?


  5. VoteMatch | Defy the Stars (pingback) on April 7th, 2008 @ 2:13 pm

    [...] if you need convincing about why you should vote, check out this London Metroblog [...]


  6. eoinhouly on April 19th, 2008 @ 1:44 pm

    Flora. I’m very interested in politics and vote in any meaningful election but I’m afraid I do not view this mayoral election as meaningful. All major decisions regarding education, healthcare etc are made at parlimentary level and I feel this reduces the significance of the role they play.

    They look after transport, policing and what else? Transport can be run by a CEO but I’ll concede that policing is an important part of the role. the whole thing seems like a vanity fair to me. So I’m afraid this time I don’t see need to vote.

    Please tell me why it is important?

    (Please read my blog http://houlscerosis.blogspot.com/)


  7. Flora Graham (flobud) on April 30th, 2008 @ 11:04 am

    Sorry for not responding to your comment earlier, eoinhouly! But that is an excellent question…I will write a proper entry in response and I’d very much welcome your feedback!


  8. What’s the point of the local London elections? | London Metblogs (pingback) on April 30th, 2008 @ 11:29 am

    [...] already ranted about how valuable it is is just to keep out the BNP. Keeping fascists out of power, locally or nationally, is no small thing. You don’t hove to [...]



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