Why should I vote if I live in a safe seat?
Living in a safe seat constituency doesn’t necessarily mean your vote won’t make a difference.
Non-voters really could change everything.
In 2017 there were 14.5m non voters, that’s more potential votes than any one party received. If all of these people went to the polling station, then the outcome could be very different – even in constituencies seen as ‘safe’.
The number of non-voters is greater than the sitting MP’s majority in 551 out of 650 constituencies: that’s more than 80% (source). Find out just how many non-voters there were in your constituency here.
There are also many examples of safe seats that have become marginal very quickly, such as the constituency of Kensington, which overturned a majority of 7,000 in just two years. If everyone just ‘gives up’ change will never happen.
Influence the policy priorities of your next MP.
Voting will help to demonstrate to the winning candidate what issues they should be focusing on if they want to win your vote next time around.
For example, if Candidate A gets a large number of votes because of her stance on the Environment (but doesn’t win), then the winning Candidate B might try to do more on this issue in order to convince you to vote for them next time.
It’s also a way to hold your MP to account, and ensure they’re not complacent about their support.
Support the finances of your candidates and parties.
Supporting a candidate who might not necessarily win also has a number of financial implications. Firstly, Political Parties are awarded ‘Short Money‘ (funding) depending on the number of overall votes they receive, more votes equals more funding for the party to keep fighting elections with.
Candidates are also required to get a certain number of votes in their constituency to keep their deposit (the money they put down to appear on the ballot paper) if a party loses a lot of deposits it can have a big impact on their funding.
Funding is important for parties as without it they can find it difficult to support candidates standing in elections. So by voting for a candidate you’re also helping them to keep fighting elections in future.
Show your support for electoral reform.
The electoral system will never change if only voters for the main parties turn out to vote, if you want to see a change then you must show that there is demand for other parties to be represented.
How safe is my seat?
Use our tool below to see how marginal your constituency is. Marginality is the number of votes that the winning candidate won by, so a margin of 1,000 votes would only need 501 people to have voted differently to change the result.
Source: House of Commons Library