NUS urges students to register to vote as PM calls snap election
Tuesday 18-04-2017 - 15:44
With Theresa May’s surprise announcement of a general election on Thursday 8 June, NUS is urging students to register and get out the vote.
The Prime Minister has called a general election with a view to strengthening her mandate ahead of Brexit negotiations, claiming “the country is coming together but Westminster is not".
While NUS welcomes any opportunity for students to have a say in politics and over their futures, we are disappointed that the date chosen falls between term time and summer vacation for many higher education students in the UK - meaning many will not be living at the address where they are registered to vote on polling day itself.
Malia Bouattia, NUS President, said: "Many students across the UK will be concerned about the implications of this election, which will effectively be a referendum on the terms of Brexit.
“From protecting the rights of our international students to campaigning for fair funding for our education system, we have a responsibility as a union to get organised. Now is a moment for our movement to come together, to hold politicians to account, and to put forward the demands of students across the UK.
“I will be working to draft our priorities and present them to all political parties. This work will focus on the key issues that our members have put forward in the last year and that we are already campaigning on.”
In order to hold an election at such short notice, May first needs the support of two thirds of the House of Commons to trigger the Fixed Term Parliament Act’s provisions to hold a General Election before the next currently scheduled election in 2020. The Prime Minister is expected to put a motion to Parliament to formalise this.
Controversially, the purpose of the Act was to avoid governments calling early elections. However, with Labour, the SNP and the Liberal Democrats saying they will support this vote, it is almost unimaginable that the snap election will not go ahead.
NUS will work to ensure as many students as possible are on the electoral register and are heard when polls open on Thursday 8 June.