There are a whole raft of elections this week and one of the most interesting discussions i have had recently on my wall is asking how do people pick who to vote for (i do need to get out more – ed).
I always assumed it was a party vs candidate choice where some people voted by party and some by the standard of candidate and indeed for a lot of people this is the case. However there are other ways that people choose which i have listed below (these are either from my facebook post or things people have told me on the doorstep)
I will only vote for those who i either speak to or I have a leaflet from. This is a common comment and makes sense as this is the only way you get to know candidates. I know many people who are voting in the local election but not the PCC elections as they have heard nothing from any of the candidates.
I wont vote for anyone who knocks on my door and unlikely to vote for anyone who delivers a leaflet. Admittedly an unusual response but the person who said this, said they would rather vote for someone who was getting on with the job rather than self promoting.
i will vote for whoever my husband tells me to. Still a common response on the doorstep and something which is thankfully dying out. I did knock on one door this year where this role was reversed and the wife was the one who chose who they were voting for.
I will vote for whoever my parents tell me to. I was told that one resident didnt know who he was voting as he always pops round the corner to his mums and asks his parents who to vote for, the day before the election.
I vote for the first name on the ballot paper. A common idea and is the reason we get candidates desperate to be top as in the case of
ABC who stood for a number of years in St Lukes.
We have a family discussion, weigh up the pros and cons of each candidate and then decide. I actually like the sound of getting together of the family and doing this. It sounds like a good healthy debate could be had over each candidate.
i will vote for the best looking person. Shallow but i have known people to choose this way and it is sad for democracy when this happens.
I wont vote at all. Sadly a common response on the doorstep. A lot of it is said in a sheepish way and they say it is because they dont really understand it all, they dont know enough about the candidates or they dont trust politicians in general. One of the pleasing things about doing the survey this year is that it means in a small way the non voters have engaged with the political process and hopefully they will carry on doing so. I am pleased that many non voters have said that this time round they will vote for me for the first time as they believe in my passion and the reasons i am standing.
All of these are reasons people do/do not vote and it is really fascinating how people use their democratic right to vote. I want to leave you with a final story and thought.
One of the strangest things happened to me on the doorstep yesterday where i had to choose one of my opponents to vote for, i was carrying out my doorstep survey and the resident said
i really like you, you have a great personality and passion but i can never vote for Conservatives as i vote party over person. However if you tell me who you would vote for over independent or Labour then i will vote for that party! I, of course chose the Labour party and so she is now going to vote for them! It is the first time that has happened before!!
Looking at the above i think the only conclusion that can be drawn is that a politician will never win! They just have to go out on the doorstep and get their message across in a clear and honest manner and then wait for the electorate to decide whether they want them or not. Whoever or however you decide to vote, I would urge you to go out this Thursday and vote!