We asked our intern, Julia, to conduct a survey among our students to find out how knowledgable they are about the current election taking place! The results were surprising ! We also give you the basics on UK politics and how we do elections here!
Who could have missed the major topic which is taking over news channels around the world – UK’s general election! There is no way of avoiding it. There are updates via newspapers, radio, internet, TV and there are even TV debates. This brought us to ask ourselves: How much do our students know about UK’s general election? And are they even interested in it? To answer those questions we took a survey among our students. The bar chart shows the students’ answers!
We asked several questions regarding their general knowledge of the election:
1.Q. : Do you know what the general election is for?
Correct answer: To elect the 56th Parliament of the United Kingdom
2.Q. : Do you know who the current Prime Minister in the UK is?
Correct answer: David Cameron
3.Q. : Do you know when the next general election in the UK is?
Correct answer: 7 May 2015
4.Q. : Do you know the political party which the Prime Minister belongs to?
Correct answer: Conservative Party
5.Q. : Do you know where the Prime Minister lives?
Correct answer: 10 Downing Street, London
6.Q. : Do you know how often the general elections are in the UK?
Correct answer: Every 5 years
7.Q. : Do you know how old you have to be to vote?
Correct answer: At least 18
8.Q. : Are you interested in the UK’s election?
These are the results:
Here are some more detailed facts, which could be useful to know:
What is a general election?
A general election is an opportunity for people in every part of the UK to choose their MP – the person who will represent their local area (constituency) in the House of Commons for up to five years.
There is normally a choice of several candidates in each constituency, some of which are the local candidates for national political parties. People can only vote for one of the candidates and the candidate that receives most votes becomes their MP.
Can I vote for a new Prime Minister?
No. You can only vote to elect your local MP in a general election. Even if you live in the constituency represented by the current Prime Minister or the leader of another political party, you are still only voting on whether he or she will be your local MP in the next Parliament.
Who chooses the Prime Minister?
The Prime Minister is appointed by the Queen, who is guided by constitutional conventions.
Voting for political parties
To get votes, candidates campaign in their constituency. They announce a set of policies they say will guide them when making decisions if they are elected. Usually, they join together with other people who share the same ideas as part of a political party. A vote for a political party is also a vote for that party’s guiding principles.
Britain’s three biggest political parties are:
- The Conservative Party
- The Labour Party
- The Liberal Democrats
Normally these parties will support a candidate in most constituencies across the country. There are several smaller political parties too. Candidates who don’t belong to a political party are called ‘independents’.
If you are interested in finding out more you can watch this video from the BBC that explains all the basics for non-Brits! And we recommend reading the newspaper regularly to keep up to date – which is also a good way to improve your English!