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RegistHERtoVote campaign team.

With the short campaign now in full swing we need to ask ourselves – where are the swing voters? Who are they? And where is the new centre-ground?

Looking at the statistics, women voters are absolutely UK politics’ centre-ground. The polling shows that women are more undecided about who to vote for, more open to political argument and less entrenched in tribal loyalty than men.

However, women are also less likely to be certain that they are going to vote at all – 65 per cent of men are sure they will proffer their opinion in the ballot box, 10 per cent more than women.

And the percentage of women voters is in decline. In 1992, more women (78.2%) voted than men (77.2%). But it’s been in decline ever since. In 2005 and 2010 there were more male voters – in the last General Election 64% of women voted compared to 67% of men.  In fact, young women aged between 18 years and 24 years old constitute the part of the electorate least likely to vote. In 2010 only 39% of women aged 18 – 24 voted.

Contrary to what Labour would have you believe, young women (18 – 24 years) in 2010 voted for the coalition; 30% voted Conservative and 34% voted Lib Dem.

This decline in female participation is what’s behind the new grassroots campaign RegistHERtoVote. The campaign is encouraging more women to get on the register, to speak out and to vote on May 7th.

The mismatch between generations of voters and between the genders can’t be good for the democratic process. Neither can it be good for women who are making their views less relevant – by not participating – in the debate. We all know why women should vote. We all know why young people should vote. It’s the same reason anyone should vote. Unless you make your voice heard, unless you register to vote and then actually go and vote, the less likely it is that politicians will work to try and win your vote.

But this campaign is not about lecturing people on using their hard-won electoral rights. And it’s not that women are the only people that matter – of course not – but with the campaign now in full swing, it’s interesting to see whether any of the parties can really reach out to women.  Women are the great undecided.

While only a quarter of men are still unsure about who they will vote for, 35 per cent of women still do not know. Women’s votes are up for grabs.

This is set to be the closest election in living memory. We do not know what the result will be, but we do know that every vote really does matter. What better chance to show how powerful women can be? Let’s send a message, love your vote on May 7th so you don’t hate the result on May 8th.

RegistHERtoVote is a cross-party grass roots action campaign dedicated to encouraging women across the country to register to vote.

@RegistHERtoVote
www.registhertovote.org.uk
www.facebook.com/registhertovote