Believe it or not, you matter. Believe it or not, your vote matters. On May 7th, Britain goes to the polls once again, to collectively decide, using our democratic right, which party to bestow the honour of governing the United Kingdom.

But, why should you vote? What difference will your opinion make? Here are 10 reasons why your opinion is more important than ever.

10. Bedroom Tax

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If you simply didn’t vote because, “nothing changes in politics”, then what was your reaction to the Bedroom Tax imposed on the UK? Didn’t vote? You don’t have an opinion.

9. Democratic Privilege

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Rather than look upon your voting right as a burden, view it as a privilege, to be allowed a vocal position in the creation of a new Government. Currently there are 69 countries in the world where the citizens have no freedom to vote in a democratic manner. Many are willing to die fighting for it. You don’t have to.

8. A Matter of Life and Death

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Remember the Arab Spring? The people demonstrating during it wanted democracy. Ever heard of Emily Davison? Also known as the woman who threw herself under the King’s horse, she was fighting for the right to vote. Afghanistan, Iraq, what about the people of Russia. Each person and country mentioned prior, dreams of the chance of a fair and just democracy. 

7. Everyday Politics

B0N4PD Close up of UK train ticket on top of banknotes 2008. Image shot 2008. Exact date unknown.

Not political you say? Don’t see the point? How about this?

You get up in the morning, can’t turn the heating on, worried about the price of your bill? Politics! Train to work is late? Politics! Price of your daily commute increased? Politics! Jump into Gregg’s for a sausage roll, prices have increased? Politics! Get into work to be informed the retirement age has increased. Politics! Politics are inextricably intertwined throughout our everyday life. Don’t forget to cast your vote.

6. NHS

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The NHS is one of Britain’s greatest achievements, it is admired across the world. In the U.S, Barack Obama risked his Presidency to set up a social care system based on elements of the NHS. Since 2012 in England there have been nearly £20 billion pounds worth of cuts chopped from the NHS. Another example closer to home? Two doctors caring for 10,000 people in Grangemouth! What are your thoughts on this? Angry? Disappointed? Nonchalant, because you are in fact immortal and will never need the NHS? Voting matters!

5. Pub Talk

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Everybody has an opinion, it’s human nature to form thoughts and feelings, as a direct relation of situations which have occurred during your life. Sitting in the pub and somebody starts voicing their opinion on an agenda which you feel passionately about. The person has voted in every election since they were legally allowed and you know they are voting against something you agree with. How do you stop them? Voting counts. P.S pints increased in price? Politics! Bartender moaning about low wages? Politics! 

4. Education

Students Protest Over The Rise In Tuition Fees

Education is free in Scotland, legitimately it shouldn’t cost you a penny in fees to go to university or college. But did you know in England tuition fees can be as much as £70,000 pounds. Students and their families are actually moving to Scotland because of cheaper rates. Should students from England be charged full price for education? There’s no point in having an opinion if you don’t cast a vote.

3. Government Legitimacy

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The stronger a public turnout, the more legitimate the result will be. If 51% per cent of the voting population casts their vote. This means nearly half of the entire voting population are silent, half the country without an opinion. Did you know more than 40 million votes were cast in X Factor this year? In the 2010 General Election there were less than 30 million votes cast out of a possible 46 million. What’s more important a quiz show or the running of an entire country? 

2. Homegrown Politics

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The majority of local M.P’s will be similar to yourself, similar ambitions, hopes, fears and dreams. You might even have worked with them, or went to school with their family. Local M.P’s can actually make a difference in your area, and there’s slightly more chance of your local M.P listening to your problem and solving it, compared to you writing a letter to the leader of the party in Parliament.

1. Hung Parliament

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2010 witnessed the first hung parliament since the 1970’s and only the second since the end of WW2. Did you know that 45 million people were registered to vote in the 2010 General Election but less than 30 million actually voted? 48 seats separated the two main parties after the votes were counted and neither party was able to command a majority in Parliament. However look from a different perspective. Nearly 35% per cent of the voting public refrained from voting, 35% per cent of which could have changed the election. Quite possibly even changed the course of history.

Politics matter and every vote counts. On May 7th, 2015, ensure your voice is heard.