Posted: 15 November 2019

Talking to young people about the general election

The general election is taking place on 12 December 2019 and it's a chance to make sure the big issues affecting children are heard. 

Children and young people we work with often have questions about external events and how changes might affect them, so we've created some advice for talking about the upcoming election.

Here are some questions and conversation starters for young people interested in the general election. 

Do you plan to vote in the general election?

Ask if they have plans to vote in the election and make it clear that this is completely their choice and there's no pressure on them to vote if they don't want to. Some young people may ask:

'Why should I vote?'

It's not for us to tell young people why they should vote but here are some reasons other young people gave about why voting is important to them:

Have you registered to vote?

If they want to vote and they've never voted before, moved consituency or recently turned 18, then they'll need to register. Direct them to the registration page and let them know the deadline is 26 November 2019.

Let them know that their name and address will appear on a public document called the electoral register when they register. If a young person is concerned about their safety, there is a separate process where they can register anonymously.

Do you know where and when you can vote?

Election day is 12 December 2019, with local polling stations open between 7am and 10pm. If they're out of town on that date then they can still vote by post or by proxy. It's good to try and sort this as soon as possible.

If they are voting in person, the polling station address will be on their polling card which they'll receive through the post. They can also look it up online

What do you know about your local candidates?

Do they know anything about the candidates in their area? If not, they can use this tool to find out a bit more about the different parties and what they stand for. 

Do you have any questions for your local candidates?

The young person may have questions for their local candidates. If so, you could suggest they attend a hustings event.

'What's a hustings?'

A hustings is a public event where candidates address voters and discuss and debate issues, and they may have the chance to ask a question. Hustings events are often posted on social media and online, here's a current list of hustings events.

We have created a list of questions for election candidates, which our supporters are free to download and use at hustings or when representatives are canvassing. 



By Practitioner

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