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Protestors with ‘Fuck Boris’ t-shirts
Photography Vanessa Hsieh, Georgie Daley, Emilie Bruyere

Five things you need to do ahead of the UK’s general election

Boris Johnson’s bill is through, and we’re heading for an election – let’s unfuck the country

After so many back and forths I’ve lost count, it’s just been confirmed that the UK is almost definitely having a general election on December 12.

Last night, Boris Johnson lost his third bid for an early election – one isn’t technically due until 2022 – before Labour announced its support this morning, following confirmation that a No Deal Brexit had been ruled out. Many Labour MPs were unhappy with the party’s decision to vote in favour of an election, with backbencher Barry Sheerman tweeting: “Sheer madness to hold a general election in December and on Boris Johnson’s agenda!”

Today’s win is the second for the prime minister since he took office in July; his first victory happened on October 15 – his eighth vote – and was celebrated in parliament with mocking cheers.

The upcoming election finally gives voters the chance to have their say following the government’s disastrous approach to Brexit, and lack of progression with regards to any other policies.

Ahead of the December election, here’s five things you need to do to prepare.


In order to have your say, you have to actually be registered to vote. With the election on December 12, it’s important for university students and young people in particular to think carefully about where you will be. If you’ll be back home for Christmas, you either need to register to vote at home or ensure you’ve set up a postal vote at uni. If you’ve recently moved house, make sure you’re on the electoral register at your current address. Where you cast your vote could make all the difference.

Register to vote here.

For students: find out whether your vote will have the biggest impact at home or at uni here.


With many members of the public disillusioned with the main parties, huge shifts in votes at this year’s general election are to be expected. A YouGov polling expert told Business Insider that “tactical voting could be more effective” this year than ever before. The UK’s first-past-the-post system means the candidate who gets the most votes in each constituency wins, even if the majority is split between opposition parties. By tactically voting – not necessarily voting for your party of choice, but the one most likely to knock the Tories out – you could have a huge impact on the overall result.

Find out how to tactically vote to stop the Tories here.

Vote tactically for a People’s Vote here.


With the election taking place before the new Brexit date (January 31 2020 – which Donald Tusk said “may be the last” extension), the views people hold about leaving the EU will definitely play a central role in their decision. The Tories claim to want to leave with a deal – Johnson recently negotiated a new one with the EU, which was passed in parliament but then paused because MPs did not agree to the prime minister’s timetable – but Johnson is happy to exit without a deal. Labour want to renegotiate the current deal and put it to a public vote, asking voters to choose between the new deal or Remain, while the Lib Dems want to cancel Brexit altogether. 

Although Brexit is an important element in voters’ decision-making, it should be considered alongside each party’s wider manifesto. Under Conservative rule, a number of UK nationals were wrongly deported as part of the Windrush scandal, Grenfell fire survivors were neglected, a Universal Credit overhaul forced women into survival sex, the government introduced a racist ‘right to rent’ scheme, 120 women went on hunger strike in protest against inhumane conditions at Yarl’s Wood detention centre, and homelessness has increased, with one man actually dying outside of parliament in December last year.

The parties have yet to release their 2019 manifestos, and it’s likely that a Conservative manifesto under Johnson’s government will look slightly different to one under Theresa May’s, but you can still get the gist of what sort of policies they’ll be supporting by comparing all the 2017 manifestos here.


This general election is the most important vote of our generation so far – the more help you can give to your chosen party, the better. Volunteering with a party helps them get campaign ready to embolden communities and win elections. Sign up to volunteer to the parties here: LabourGreen Party.


2017’s ‘youthquake’ demonstrated the indomitable power of young people, who turned up to vote in numbers not seen for 25 years. Over a million people under the age of 25 registered to vote in the last general election, with the constituencies with the youngest populations coming out in force for Labour, while Corbyn drew an enormous crowd of young people chanting “oh Jeremy Corbyn” at Glastonbury 2017. When talk of another general election emerged earlier this autumn, young people made up the bulk of the 100,000 people who registered to vote. Although you might be furious at the Tories and eager to have your voice heard, your friends may not be. Make sure to push your housemates, colleagues, and friends to register ahead of the general election, and actually go down to the polls to vote. If young people use their collective power, we might finally get rid of our heinous Tory government.