When you vote in a general election you vote for an MP (Member of Parliament) to represent your area. Most MPs are part of a political party, the party with the majority of MPs (326) wins the election and the leader of that party becomes Prime Minister.
MPs are usually in a particular party because they have similar views to the party’s core beliefs, however their personal opinion may have one or two differences. To get a more accurate idea of what your Local MP stands for it is best to contact them directly.
The Conservative Party
“The Conservative Party seeks to advance opportunity, nurture responsibility and protect security. By trusting people, we help individuals grow stronger; by sharing responsibility, we help society grow stronger. We believe that there is such a thing as society, but it is not the same thing as the state. The party stands for a free society and a strong nation state; we want to give people more opportunity and power over their lives, to make families stronger and society more responsible and to make Britain safer and greener.”
The Labour Party
“The Labour Party is a democratic socialist party. It believes that by the strength of our common endeavour we achieve more than we achieve alone, so as to create for each of us the means to realise our true potential and for all of us a community in which power, wealth and opportunity are in the hands of the many not the few; where the rights we enjoy reflect the duties we owe and where we live together freely, in a spirit of solidarity, tolerance and respect. The Labour party believes in a just society, an open democracy and a healthy environment.”
The Scottish National Party (SNP)
“The SNP is committed to making Scotland the nation we know it can be. Our vision is of a prosperous country where everyone gets the chance to fulfil their potential. We want a fair society where no-one is left behind. And our vision is of Scotland as an independent country – equal to the very best. The SNP’s positive campaign was based on the key theme of making Scotland more successful, with vital health services kept local; more support for small businesses; safer communities; and lower and fairer local tax, leaving more money in peoples’ pockets at the end of every month.”
The Liberal Democrats
“The Liberal Democrats exist to build and safeguard a fair, free and open society, in which we seek to balance the fundamental values of liberty, equality and community, and in which no one shall be enslaved by poverty, ignorance or conformity. We champion the freedom, dignity and well-being of individuals, we acknowledge and respect their right to freedom of conscience and their right to develop their talents to the full. We believe that the role of the state is to enable all citizens to attain these ideals, to contribute fully to their communities and to take part in the decisions which affect their lives.”
The Independent Group (TIG)*
“Our primary duty as Members of Parliament is to put the best interests of our constituents and our country first. Yet like so many others, we believe that none of today’s political parties are fit to provide the leadership and direction needed by our country. Our aim is to pursue policies that are evidence-based, not led by ideology, taking a long-term perspective to the challenges of the 21st century in the national interest, rather than locked in the old politics of the 20th century in the party’s interests. As The Independent Group we aim to recognise the value of healthy debate, show tolerance towards different opinions and seek to reach across outdated divides and build consensus to tackle Britain’s problems.”
The Democratic Unionist Party (DUP)
“The DUP wants to strengthen our relationship within the United Kingdom… We want the hard won peace and stability to build a prosperity that flows to each district, community and family. We want to normalise our institutions and political arrangements to demonstrate that democratic standards apply and fairness and equality of opportunity is the right of all…We want Northern Ireland to be regarded as a location where a dedicated, committed and skilled workforce can be found. We want the natural beauty and the friendly character of our people to be promoted to make Northern Ireland “the place to visit”. We want the name of Northern Ireland to be synonymous with progress.”
Plaid Cymru (The Party of Wales)
“Plaid Cymru wants to build a nation that thrives and prospers as a result of its own strong and sustainable economy with excellent schools and first-class healthcare. A Wales that can provide a better standard of living for all through hard work, a commitment to equality, fair play and a sense of ambition for family, for community and for the nation. The people of Wales have given their young people to industry, their lives to the army, their talents to the British economy. We believe that Wales should not be denied her potential and that it is in the interests of all who live in Wales to live in a country that has the self-respect to run its own affairs and control its resources.”
The Green Party
“Imagine a political system that puts the public first. Imagine an economy that gives everyone their fair share. Imagine a society capable of supporting everyone’s needs. Imagine a planet protected from the threat of climate change now and for the generations to come. That’s the world we want to create and we believe we have the means to do it. By ensuring that everyone has access to a secure job that pays at least the Living Wage, by restoring public services to public hands, by investing in renewable energy and reducing our reliance on fossil fuels, by building more social rented homes and bringing abandoned buildings back into use.”
Sinn Féin also have representatives elected at General Elections, however they choose not to take their seats, and as a result none of their MPs appear, debate, or vote in the House of Commons.
As previously mentioned, not all candidates within each party have the same point of view, so it is certainly worth researching the individual candidates standing in your area before deciding.
There are of course a huge number of smaller parties and independent candidates that stand in elections, often it depends on your local area. We recommend you look into the other parties, especially if you’re not inclined to vote for any of the above.
*The Independent Group are not technically a political party, rather they are a group of ‘independent’ MPs who sit together and may coordinate votes. There are other ‘independent’ MPs who do not belong to a political party, nor The Independent Group