April 21, 2015, by Tilly Potter
Election 2015: A guide from the perplexed
With all this political to-ing and fro-ing going on (literally, in terms of David Cameron’s journeys up and down the country; and metaphorically, in terms of argumentative TV debates), it can be difficult to decide which party to go for – particularly if, like me, this is your first time voting in a general election. Well have no fear! Here is your
comprehensive alternative guide to the highs and lows of the main political parties (according to BBC poll tracker) and their leaders. Disclaimer: I do not study politics or have much of a clue about what’s going on.
Conservative leader David Cameron has recently been defending his ‘long term economic plan’ and claiming his party have helped to cut the deficit. But students are unlikely to be a fan of the Conservatives’ rise in tuition fees. Probably one of the more ‘serious’ party leaders, Cameron is rarely seen cracking jokes or caught eating burgers.
Long considered the arch-enemy of the Conservatives (the Gryffindor to their Slytherin, I suppose you could say… or vice versa if we’re being democratic), opinions about current Labour leader Ed Miliband have been varied, with amusing articles and GIFs such as this article which shows he didn’t know what YOLO meant. Oh well. Those on the pro-Labour side are hoping the party will provide a welcome change by increasing the minimum wage and providing more funding for a public NHS. He recently got into a perhaps less than successful argument with SNP leader Nicola Sturgeon.
Lib Dem leader Nick Clegg has certainly come under fire in recent years for going back on their party’s policies after forming a coalition with the Conservatives. However, in February he showed he had a sense of humour by appearing on Channel 4 comedy show The Last Leg. It’ll be up to the people as to whether the Lib Dems deserve a second chance, with policies such as £3.5 billion extra for mental health and wishing to remain in the EU.
Leader Nigel Farage has probably been successful in aiming for UKIP to be unique from the other parties. With their tough rules on immigration and firm belief in being outside the EU they certainly have some policies which divide opinion. Perhaps a less traditional and ‘serious’ party leader, Farage has been seen having a pint in the pub or joking about ‘sending money north of Hadrian’s wall’ during TV debates.
The Green party certainly win in terms of releasing the catchiest tune since Rebecca Black – Friday for their party election broadcast. The Green party’s manifesto is also in stark contrast to other parties’, with plans to scrap tuition fees and end privatisation of the NHS. However, in a recent radio interview leader Natalie Bennett floundered when it came to discussing budgeting.
So there you have it. Whatever you decide, and whether you’re voting in Nottingham or elsewhere, please use your vote on May 7th. If you’d prefer some better advice about how to vote in the upcoming election, I recommend the BBC election pages for lots of good resources.
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