This piece originally appeared in Wessex Scene.
The way you register to vote is changing – don’t miss out.
Students can register both their home and term-time address, meaning wherever they are on the day, they can have a say. Of course, you can only vote at one address.
In the past, the electoral register was by household, meaning in the past, those of you living in halls, and UK citizens would have been registered automatically. However, registering to vote takes less than 5 minutes – and you can do it online here.
Southampton has three constituencies. Southampton North currently held by Conservative MP Caroline Noakes – which covers areas populated by a lot of students, such as Basset and Swaythling. Southampton Itchen, which has been held for 22 years by Labour MP, Jonathan Denham, who is retiring this year, covers the city centre. And Southampton Test, held by Labour MP Alan Whitehead which cover Bevios, Portswood and Shirley.
Voter turnout for 18-24 year olds in 2010 was only 44% – as a result a number of marketing strategies encouraging students to vote have been put in place. Notably, Leaders Live organised by Youth agency Bite The Ballot, where a number of young people quizzed party leaders.
SUSU are pledinging £18,000 to encourage students to vote, having planned aggressive marketing strategies city-wide to ensure UoS, Solent and FE students to head to ballots on 7th May.