100 days to GE2015: information

House of Commons, emptyIn 100 days time, we go to the polls.

The next General Election for the UK will be held on 7 May 2015. The 2010-2015 Parliament will be dissolved on Monday 30 March 2015. The official timetable on the UK Parliament website is here.

Who will win?

To see a month-by-month poll of the polls for the previous month – more accurate than any individual poll could be – check out Electoral Calculus. You can also see the odds the bookies are placing on each party winning at BestBetting.

The odds of there being a Tory/UKIP coalition are discussed here. (The condensed version is: this is too improbable to worry about.)

A website set up to do journalism about fifty marginal constituencies, 50for15, also has a Twitter feed: @50for15.

Another website GE2015.co.uk by Tim Carr, discusses the candidates he thinks are most likely to win the general election – “based on 262 candidates (once they are all selected) in around 225 parliamentary constituencies”.

Who do I vote for?

That is of course between you and your conscience.

However, if you want to know who the candidates in your constituency are likely to be, check out YourNextMP. The deadline for nominating candidates for the next General Election is 4pm on 9 April 2015: full lists will be released after this date by the Electoral Commission. YourNextMP is a crowdsourced website and the information is, as I understand it, purely speculatory, not an official legal declaration.

Note that many candidates won’t declare themselves until they have to – because of the spending limits.

You become a candidate on the date you or another person declare that you will be a candidate, or on the date that your nomination papers are submitted, whichever is earlier. Being named on YourNextMP has, I believe, the legal value of gossip in the newspapers: until a candidate declares themselves or is declared by someone with reason to know, they are still in the long campaign.

There are two campaign spending limits: the long campaign, which began on 19 December 2014, and ends for each candidate on the day before they declared themselves to be a candidate: and the short campaign, which begins for each candidate on the day when they declare themselves to be a candidate and ends on polling day.

For the long campaign, the spending limit is (£30,700 + 6p/9p per elector) in a borough/county constituency. For the short campaign, the spending limit is (£8,700 + 6p/9p per elector) in a borough/county constituency.

How do I vote?

Make sure you are registered before 20 April 2015, or get yourself registered. The site most people will find useful is AboutMyVote.

In response to Ed Miliband’s recent speech about the problems of the new voter registration system, Juliet Swann of the Electoral Reform Society Scotland notes “some inaccurate information has made its way into the media. Here is my attempt to address some of those concerns”.

In 2014, a law was passed that changed voter registration in the UK from registration by head of household – the UK may have been the last western democracy to use this system – to each individual voter being responsible for their own registration. It also made it possible to register to vote online.

The important part is: If you were registered to vote already for the independence referendum, and you still live at the same address, then until December 2015 you are still registered to vote. So, everyone in Scotland who was registered to vote in September 2014, which was most of us, is registered to vote in May 2015.

But, if your previous household registration data doesn’t ‘match up’ with other electronic data the registrar can access then for you to stay on the voters’ register after December 2015 (because they haven’t been able to confirm you are who you are and live where you live) they will need you to re-register – which you can do online, or by paper. You will need your NI number. But most people who haven’t moved house since the last time they registered to vote, will be on the voters’ register because they were automatically transferred.

If you aren’t – for whatever reason – you might have moved house, or you don’t have other data at your electoral register address – you’ll be asked to re-register. Though of course if your registration was at a previous address, you might not receive the notification to re-register (in order to stay on the voters’ rolls after December 2015). But you can call your local authority electoral registration officer (you can find out who that is and how to contact them by entering your postcode at www.aboutmyvote.co.uk) to find out if you are registered, and they’ll tell you if you need to re-register.

If you are a student, you can quite legally register both at your home address and your term-time address. You can apply for a postal vote for either address. What you cannot do is vote at both addresses: that is illegal. You can apply for a postal vote for any reason whatsoever, incidentally – you merely have to want to vote by post.

If you are homeless or want to register at an anonymous address, you can quite legally do that also: call your local authority electoral registration officer (see www.aboutmyvote.co.uk) and ask them how to make that happen.

8 Comments

Filed under Elections, GE2015

8 responses to “100 days to GE2015: information

  1. Quentin Crisp

    well the same old race once more, Vote for this party or that,, the Scott’s were fobbed off and fell for it.
    I work with struggling family’s on the breadline and some are working and some have been sanctioned (removal of benefits for very scurrilous reasons) and the are over one million so far who have been left destitute and the food bank is the only hope for them.
    the cuts in local service has a north south divide and we are seeing unprecedented numbers of children entering the care system and that works out for every £1 saved it is costing the local authority £180 per week minimum to look after them.

    I see family’s who are working 16 hours a week being told that the new “IN WORK” sanctions will happen in 2015 from July, this will be a cut in tax credits to any person not trying hard enough to bombard the employer they work for to get more hours, by the way the One million + sanctioned were listed as self employed by DWP as they were not receiving JSA etc. so you now know the new jobs that have been created were indeed created.

    I recently represented a 55 year old woman who had worked for 30 years until her employer folded, this person was sanctioned as she could not use a computer and did not have an internet connection at home, the woman had severe learning difficulties and was employed as a favour many years ago.
    We recently found this woman sat in an unlit home with no heating and half a tin of beans and 32 pence to her name.
    The woman had to spend time in hospital due to the effects of cold and had contracted a form of pneumonia and the only reason she was found was a post man who use to know her noticed the mail behind the door (no family or relatives) she could have died.
    I found out this woman had no money to live off for five and a half months and had used her savings from being a cleaner to feed herself and heat the home but that did not last long, I attended a an interview with her to find out who and why she was sanctioned and not referred to a food bank and the main reason was she could not log onto a job search as she had no internet and the local library had closed down and the Jobcentre terminal was not functioning.

    Crime in the North has accelerated and so the poor try to feed themselves when the chips are down.
    Mandatory work programs in the north are run by private company’s just like we use to see in the 1980s and we now see people being made redundant and re employed for free.
    If the conservative led coalition and the people of the UK are worried about home grown activists then this government is producing the very thing the nation does not need as the young who I talk to every day are very angry and hostile towards the needless cuts that are driven by ideology and not the over used word of austerity.
    You may have noticed that this has happened in the past but not in the UK but in Germany in the 1930s, the poor the Jews the disabled the deformed the ones who were mentally challenged were all scapegoated like today and the blame of the worlds banking system was deflected towards the ones who can not defend themselves and so the poor and impoverished see the headlines of benefit street and scroungers, thieves, work shy and you all feed into this lie as you all buy the newspapers.

    Some people have died and Ian Duncan Smith simply says ” nothing to do with me”, and David Cameron likes people to work for free as the historic nature of his generational past says that his ancestors were paid 5 Million pounds to end the African slave trade and that’s a few billion in todays money yet I can not hold him personally to account for that but the money is still in the bank being invested so do the right thing David Cameron hand the cash back and end the black line under your heritage and while you are at it spend the over seas aid budget in the UK as we have starving people standing in line at soup kitchens.

    I can understand buy never condone what may happen to this nation when civil unrest comes to our streets as I fear wee will have never seen the likes of the new home grown activists as the ones with nothing to loose are the most dangerous to us all yet this Government is fuelling the very thing it says it is trying to stop yet the deeds of the very few in Westminster will have a massive impact on the millions, PS……NEW WELFAIR cuts announced so the poor are about to be even poorer if that is possible, I wish I could claim for my underpants like Ian Duncan Smith ,,,good night.

    • Every time I read about these things being done to people in the name of the “Department of Work and Pensions”, I think: this cannot go on.

      And then it does.

      If Labour win a simple majority in May I do not believe Labour will turn around and end this “welfare reform” – not unless they have pressure from the left, from the Greens and the SNP.

      • Quentin Crisp

        I agree with your views on this matter but we need to see more compassion as the working poor and the very poor have been hit hard and the children of the family’s mentioned are paying the price and today I understand that spending on the over 65’s has been reduced by a third From 2010.

        8 babies were removed in the last 3 weeks from one area alone as the mothers simply could not look after the due to financial reasons/accommodation and although many will say “don’t have them” and yet I see women coming to the UK with three or more children hoping to claim asylum and this costs the taxpayer £400 per week excluding NHS costs and educational costs(extra costs for schools as no English is spoken) but now we have in place DNA profile testing and we are finding that many children are not related to the mother/father at all and are simply put together by gangs at a price in the hope we will not spot them.
        From 2010 we have reduced DNA testing on 90% of the family’s due to cost savings so once more we save a pound and it costs us dear.
        DWP will pay you to get to an interview if you ask them on proof of attendance p to a max of £10 yet if you live in the EU the payment to attend an interview in the UK Is op to £700 and many jobs are advertised in none English on the sites anyway.
        I have to close by saying that 2015 may see civil unrest as seen in the early 1980s as economic cleansing of London and other areas in the UK has moved the poor outside looking inward and this is what happened in France with massive ghettos and that in todays UK where we see soup kitchens clothes banks and food banks and it has been announced that 1% of the rich will soon own 50% of the worlds wealth makes me think that we are heading down a dark road indeed.
        Charity begins at home and we need to be looking after our young and old alike first then when we can afford it other nations can be helped but what did this government do ? spend 8 Billion on over seas aid to greases the sales of aircraft for the shareholder’s of large corporations.

        • It’s rather depressing that you follow up your first comment with this comment.

          I don’t wish to argue with you about the issue of asylum seekers/refugees, but I note that the Travel to Interview Scheme – which I was unable to find any current information about on the DWP websites for England/Wales/Scotland, but I presume it still exists as it has for years but only for jobs inside the UK: you had to be living in the UK and have been in receipt of JSA for up to 13 weeks to apply for it. So in this instance, I know you are repeating what is factually untrue,and that casts everything else you have said into a different light.

          • allan johnson

            The jobs for the UK are advertised by the EU for EU mainland residents only and in the language of that mainland EU nation.
            http://metro.co.uk/2013/07/27/800000-british-jobs-advertised-to-foreign-workers-in-the-eu-3900683/
            and the other safe link is
            http://www.thesun.co.uk/sol/homepage/news/politics/4597319/EU-pay-foreigners-to-get-British-jobs.html
            Far more than a tenner after the interview is it not ?

          • Goodness me, you’re citing two news stories from the Metro and the Sun as if they were evidence? The Metro story actually quotes the national joke Nigel Farage, which rather proves that this is nonsense, yes?

            The site the Metro has screenshotted is Eures – the European Job Mobility Portal – which isn’t anything to do with the Department of Work and Pensions, as you’d know yourself if you’d bothered to check.

            Any resident of the EU can use Eures to find work in another country. At any given time, there are far more Brits working – and claiming benefits – in other European countries, than there are EU-residents working or claiming benefits here.

            You’ve offered absolutely zero evidence for your claim about the amount of money EU residents can claim to find a job in the UK, aside from these two nonsense news stories in disreputable tabloids. I daresay you know no better, but facts matter.

          • steven daltrige

            I see you have taken a dislike to the post sir, Please keep the comments factual and on topic please and do not attack the poster.
            You May comment on the comment left but getting personal is quite wrong and shows shallow thought on such matters but I think the poster was informing the many about the few who harm the very nation we live in and we are heading towards civil unrest as the poster politely put it and one tends to agree with that statement

          • Steven, it may have escaped your notice, but this is my blog. I wrote the original post: I approve comments. My basic metric for approving comments is that they should have been written by a human being, not a bot, and that they are not perspnally abusive and do not contain offensive language: I have a very narrow definition of what constitutes personal abuse/offensive language. That low bar passed, I tend to approve comments whether or not I agree with the sentiments expressed or whether I think the comments are factless maunderings citing the ridiculous Farage or offensively dishonest tabloids as if they were accurate sources.

            Of course, once approved, if the comment contains obvious untruths, it is open to anyone to point this out, including me as the original blogger. Your notion that pointing out the obvious nonsense or actual untruths is “getting personal” is quite absurd, and shows the shallowness of your debating levels.

            It has not escaped my notice, however, that there are supposedly three commenters on this post, using three different names (and email addresses) but all of them are commenting from the same IP address….

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