With less than a week to go until the general election, I think it is safe to say that no one could have predicted the swings and roundabouts thrown our way during this election campaign. Certainly throughout this time as the mood and narrative of the campaigns developed so has the possibilities of the outcome.
When this election was announced my heart dropped a little. As a seventeen year old I had just missed the opportunity to vote and have my voice heard. Or so I thought. This election has taught me that voting is the least we can do. Regardless of my age I still had social media, a voice and the support base from my peers and the party of my choice to get my opinion out there. So with the mindset that I could make a difference even though I couldn’t vote, the nation was plunged into potentially the most important election campaign of our time.
At the beginning it seemed clear to me and everyone around me that the Conservatives were going to win with a landslide majority. All the polls predicted it and the fear of the nation made the phrase ‘Strong and Stable’ seem like the safest option. However, most forgot to account for the new power of social media. I believe social media has never been a more important factor in a campaign as often even people who could not care less about politics will have social media to stay connected. In simple terms, as social media has become more politicised so has the nation. The reason I mention social media in particular is because of the effect I believe it has had on the Conservative campaign. For example, most people who have twitter will know that it is predominantly left wing and certainly the trending topics, more often than not, will be set against the Conservative campaign. This has been a game changer. In my opinion the Conservatives have a monopoly over more traditional media such as newspapers and news broadcasting in the shape of people such as Rupert Murdoch and George Osbourne. However, with this new threat to their power, the certainty of a landslide majority at the beginning of the campaigning, is not as certain anymore.
Another fascinating aspect of this election has been the intense focus on leadership as opposed to policy. Especially with Brexit negotiations around the corner, the Conservative campaign has hinged on the image of Theresa May as a ‘strong and stable’ leader and Jeremy Corbyn as weak, associating his party with a ‘coalition of chaos’. Will leadership be the point that brings victory to the Conservatives?
Finally, the feature of this election that concerns me the most is the issue of age. It is proven that the older the generation, the more likely one is to vote Conservative and the younger, the more likely to vote Labour. However, from various studies it is also clear that young people aged 18-24 are less likely to turn up to vote. As a young person who wishes they could vote, this is extremely frustrating. These youth have been given the power to represent the future generations and they are throwing away their vote. Regardless of how they decide to vote, it is so important to vote because every vote makes a difference. If the young people live up to this stereotype of not voting we will almost certainly see a majority Conservative government. However if they decide to go out and vote in an election which will echo throughout their life, they could make a real difference to the result.
It has been gripping to see the developments of this election as each party tries to adjust to a new style of campaigning to reach the masses. Now it seems hung Parliament might be a possibility if the success of Labour in the past week continues to rise until 8th June 2017. As seen in the election campaign alone, so much can happen in a week. Just as with Brexit and Donald Trump we have seen that shocking results is entirely a possibility. In my opinion the outcome of this election will be a Conservative victory. The question is, what kind of victory will it be? That is up to us.
Note from Bookfulblog:
This blog is an article I wrote for scribershive. Scribershive is a website which aims to promote youth to write and have their voice heard! They are in connection with youpress.org.uk . If you are interested in contributing then go to http://www.scribershive.com/ !
Further note from bookfulblog:
In light of the recent London Bridge attack I wasn’t sure whether to upload a blog tonight. However I decided to upload a blog because I felt t was important to carry on and I hope to hear your guys’ thoughts on my blog post and your observations of the general election. My thoughts and prayers are with all those affected by the attacks and I love you all ❤