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VP Welfare & Community

Whatever floats your vote!

With the General Election over for another five years (and I’m sure I do not need to tell you it was a Conservative majority), you may be wondering: “What does this mean for me?” You can find out by picking up this month’s edition of SHOUT SOLENT, your Students’ Union’s newsletter which you can find anywhere around the SU. But what did your Union do for #GE2015?

The General Election has been on our radar for over a year and I am proud to have been the Sabbatical lead on such an exciting project in one which was such an exhilarating election. With a huge team effort from everyone at the SU, we managed to pull off a successful string of events which consisted of three parts; voter registration, Question Time and voting day itself.

Beginning with voter registration, we set out to ensure every student was clued up on the recent changes to voter registration, as well as the risk you may take by not registering (£80 fine!). Every week, we were out on the concourse encouraging students to register and ensuring students were aware of the massive benefits in doing so. We were joined by Tomasa Bullen and Mark Farwell from Unison and UCU respectively on the concourse which we were very thankful for.

The second phase was our Question Time. Working alongside Southampton University Students’ Union (SUSU), a series of Question Time’s for each Southampton constituency (Test, Itchen, Romsey & Southampton North) was created. Of course we’d like to thank SUSU for the help and advertising which was displayed around the city as a joint project.

 

As a majority of Solent students live in Itchen, we led the Southampton Itchen Question Time. Five out of the six local candidates turned up to our Question Time. As expected it was a heated debate with your VP Engagement, Hannah Mullarky acting as chair (David Dimbleby has nothing on her!). Over 75 students attended, with 138 watching online. You can watch it all online here:

 

 

Finally voting day had arrived and we were gratefully joined by Georgie Laming, campaigns officer at the NUS and Solent Alumni to help door knock with us around Southampton, helping students locate their polling stations and answer any questions they had.

Then at 10pm that night it was all over! Votes were in and counting had begun, many students stayed up overnight to watch the results whilst others slept from a long day of campaigning.

The next morning, every office in the union had the Election livestream on in the background, watching every breakthrough as it happened. This included the resignation of 3 party leaders, the PM’s meeting with the Queen and the moment the majority of seats were announced.

Overall I’d like to personally thank everyone involved on our General Election campaign as well as congratulations to all who voted and getting your voices heard! Over the past few months we’ve heard stories and opinions from some amazing students which really helped shape our campaign.

 

Nationally 55% of all 18-24 year olds voted in this election which is an amazing 11% increase on the 2010 election. Turnout for the constituency was 62% with over 44,000 votes cast, with majority for Royston Smith (Conservative) who is now your MP for Southampton Itchen.

As part of our commitment to being transparent to our expenditure and what it goes towards, here is a breakdown of all of the costs the union put towards the General Election as a whole:

Description

Cost

Hustings Flyers (2500)

£55

Student Email

FREE

Door knocking on Voting Day

FREE

Hustings -

 

-          Tech Cost

FREE (Thanks to Sonar TV)

-          Security

£124

-          Food and refreshments

£121.49

-          Marketing

£150

 

 

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