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Thursday, 5 June 2014 - 4:26pm

Last week, people across the UK woke up to hear the results of one of the most fiercely debated local elections for years, prompting detailed discussion and analysis. A significant aspect was the fact that only around 36% of the UK electorate turned out at the ballot box.

Photograph: pjohnkeane (Flickr)
Photograph: pjohnkeane (Flickr)

Whatever you think of the result and whatever your political preference, the reality is that if you didn’t take part, your voice has gone unheard. Making your choice at the ballot box is the most direct way to express your views and influence the decisions that are important to you and if you don’t register you can’t have your say.

Low levels of turnout can mean that some sections of society do not get their voice heard and that can be reflected in who is elected and the make-up of a local council. This is a particular issue amongst residents of social housing and homeless people  with many missing out and unable to have their say at elections because they are not on the electoral roll. As a result just 55% of social housing tenants voted in the last General Election.

However, this doesn’t have to be the case in the 2015 General Election. Homeless Link and the Hansard Society’s Your Vote Matters project aims to re-engage these groups with local and national politics by showing the difference they can make to their lives and communities.

We have produced a toolkit that gives staff of housing associations and homelessness services all they need to inspire their residents to get involved, debate the issues  that matter to them and register on the electoral roll.

Visit the Your Vote Matters project page.


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Stephen Holland

Stephen served as our Communications Officer until January 2016.