Snap election, polls and party promises

Ready, set, go! If polling is correct, the Conservative party could win 400 seats on June 8th. (1)

Theresa May shocked the nation last month by deciding to hold a snap election. Already it has been dubbed the ‘Brexit election’, but should it be about broader issues too?

What’s happening

The election campaign is in full swing. Candidates are persuading the public to vote them into Parliament. Some are MPs wanting to go back, others hope to become an MP for the first time.

May called a snap election because of one big issue: Brexit. Candidates will need to explain where they stand on this issue. Voters will want to know what else they are voting for in this general election.

Find out more

Brexit will change Britain’s place in the world. It is understandable that the issue takes centre-stage. But the next leader will also need to think about ongoing issues such as education and the NHS. The government will also decide whether taxes will be increased or reduced.

Polls predict the Conservatives will win the election, with Labour coming second.

Jeremy Corbyn, the Labour Party leader, wants to increase the amount of tax rich people pay and thinks we should focus on building a fairer society.

The Conservatives say they are the party of lower taxation. Theresa May has not confirmed what her plans are, but says their tax bill will be less than Labour’s. They think Brexit should be a key discussion point in the election. But should it?

Some say…

“Of course it should”, say some. Everything has become completely tied up with Brexit: money for the NHS, foreign affairs, immigration. That all changes when Britain leaves the EU and people are right to want clarity on what happens next. Brexit has divided Britain, and it will be the talking point of British politics until it has left. Quite right too.

Others think…

“Stop banging on about Brexit!” say others. We should be voting on a range of issues, not one. If Brexit dominates every discussion, voters will make bad decisions. We need to hear what politicians are going to do about other, equally important issues. This is still a general election, what happens on June 8th will have a big effect the next five years.

You Decide

  1. Is Brexit the most important issue in this election?

Activities

  1. Imagine you are an MP, what promises would you make to voters?

Some People Say...

“Tax is unfair.”

What do you think?

Word Watch

Campaign
The organised efforts of supporters to achieve a goal. In an election campaign, groups of people who support a candidate will meet with the public and the press. Their goal is to persuade as many people as possible to vote for their favoured candidate.
Snap election
An election held at short notice. A law was passed in 2011 which said that an election should be held every five years. This election is taking place three years earlier than expected.
Brexit
Short for ‘British exit’, this word refers to the decision made in the EU referendum last summer. A special vote was held so British voters could decide whether they wanted to stay in or leave the EU. Britain voted to leave.
General election
In which people old enough to vote can elect (vote for or choose) who they want in power making decisions about their country. The party with the most elected MPs (Members of Parliament) forms the government.
Taxes
Various different types including on income and purchases. A percentage of what we earn or of the price of what we buy is collected by the government to pay for the services it provides to the country.
Polls
A record of the opinions held by a sample group of people on an issue. Information gathered by members of the British Polling Council suggest the Conservative Party will win the election. But the only poll that matters is the election!
Labour Party
Formed to support working class people, Jeremy Corbyn is the leader.
Rich people
Labour want the richest 5% of the population in the UK to pay more income tax.
The Conservatives
The oldest political party in the UK, Theresa May is the leader.

Subjects

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