General elections 2017: timing, reasons and student voters

When Theresa May moved the date of the general elections forward, about three years earlier, there were speculations that such an action will strengthen her hand in Brexit negotiations. With the local elections under way, equally there seems to be a growing tension about what will the UK’s political scene look like in two months time.

Negotiations with EU nations are scheduled to start in June, with a new government in power. Undoubtedly, May’s timing is impeccable.

The announcement of the new election date came as a surprise. Under the Fixed Term Parliaments Act, a general election is supposed to be held every five years, next one being in 2020. Now, the British citizens will have to elect their representatives on 8 June 2017.

With Parliament breaking up on 3 May to allow for a month of campaigning, a poll by YouthSight and HEPI revealed that there is a record number of student voters registered.

One of the reasons might be that these elections will have a significant impact on Brexit negotiations and their outcome. By June, there will be a new government in power and with it arguably a new perspective of the UK’s position towards Brexit. Expectations are that if May wins, it will be a vote of reassurance and confidence regarding her policies over an EU exit for the UK.

Could this be an avenue for the country’s youth, realising their power in politics? If so, where will they channel it? Follow our rolling coverage to find out.

A general election is when British citizens choose who will represent them in Parliament and effectively run the country. How it works is, the candidate with the most votes in a constituency is elected as MP of that local area and would represent it in the House of Commons.

Everybody at the age of 18 or other is eligible to vote. You need to be a British citizen and be registered to vote. The deadline is 22 May 2017.

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