It is your democratic right to vote – so use it

Have your say

We believe tomorrow’s general election is certainly the most important for a generation.

As many pundits are also predicting, it might well be the most defining in living memory.

Why? Because it could finally signal the death knell for the old, tired, two-party system of government which has dominated politics in this country since the 1920s.

But that can only happen if you can be bothered between 7am and 10pm to make it to your polling station.

As we report on page 7 today, even if your vote might not influence the result in your constituency it could play a part in any coalition government which is thrashed out in the coming days.

We agree with David Kett, the widely-respected former public affairs lecturer at Highbury College, Cosham, when he says: ‘If we end up with a hung parliament then it will be about who has the mandate in any coalition that may follow.’

Living in a safe seat does not mean your vote will not make a difference. Remember Crewe and Nantwich? It was a safe Labour seat for more than 25 years until 2008 when it suddenly returned a Conservative MP. If you just shrug your shoulders and give up, change will never happen.

And perhaps your vote might just, eventually, lead to the introduction of a fairer voting system, some kind of proportional representation in which the smaller parties win seats in the House of Commons reflecting the number of votes they receive instead of the traditional first-past-the-post system.

Love or loathe him, Ukip leader Nigel Farage was right when he said a few weeks ago: ‘If you don’t vote, you can’t complain.’

Lib Dem leader Nick Clegg, in an attempt to woo the younger voter, was also on the money when he quipped: ‘Not voting is like going to Nando’s, asking someone else to order for you and not getting what you like.’

Whatever else you do tomorrow, make sure you vote. Remember, we live in a democracy. Many other countries do not allow its citizens this precious right.

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