All of Glasgow Labour MPs were made redundant last night. Each of the city’s seven constituencies voted for the Scottish National Party to represent them at Westminster. But Conservative David Cameron remains secure in No 10 Downing Street. In the early hours of the morning he said he wanted to: ‘Bring Britain together and build on the sure foundations this government had created.’
The senior Labour figures who are now jobless in Glasgow are: Margaret Curran(Glasgow East) Anas Sarwar (Glasgow Central) Ann McKechin(Glasgow North) Willie Bain (Glasgow North East) John Robertson (Glasgow North West) Tom Harris (Glasgow South) and Ian Davidson(Glasgow South West).
Said Ian Davidson: ‘I regret very much letting down Labour in the rest of the UK.’ He criticised Labour’s strategy in Scotland and added: ‘It needs to be clearer what Labour stands for. Labour is about challenging wealth and power. We’ve not been doing that strongly enough. We need to get back to our roots.’ He added that Jim Murphy’s position was untenable. Asked what he’d do himself, now, Mr Davidson replied: ‘I’ll not go to the House of Lords. But I’ve no idea really.’
Tom Harrison was clearly shocked at being out of a job after years representing his area but said: ‘That’s democracy. But I doubt that an SNP Scotland will welcome a former Labour MP looking for work.’ And he added: ‘That’s not a criticism. But that’s not the kind of politics I want to be involved in.’ However, SNP Stewart McDonald who won Tom Harris’ old seat, paid generous tribute to him in his victory speech.
The full results for Glasgow’s seven constituencies are recorded on this website.
A triumphal arrival awaited Nicola Sturgeon at the Glasgow count. Although no seat had been declared at that point, it seemed clear that the Scottish National Party had made a clean sweep in the city’s seven constituencies. The whole SNP team turned out to welcome her with total surround sound.
A seemingly buoyant Margaret Curran who has been Labour MP for Glasgow East and Shadow Scottish Secretary, looked set to lose her seat as did Tom Harris for Glasgow South.Margaret was brought into the counting hall tightly surrounded and supported by her party colleagues.
Tom Harris who had been Labour MP for Glasgow South for more than ten years, admitted defeat before the count was declared. ‘That’s democracy,’ he said. ‘I’m looking for a job now. But I doubt that an SNP Scotland will welcome a Labour MP looking for work.’ And he added: ‘That’s not a criticism. But that’s not the kind of politics I want to be involved in.’
At that stage, there was no sign of Anas Sarwar who followed in his father, Mohammad’s footsteps in Glasgow Central for Labour. But there was still hope that Willie Bain in Glasgow North East or Ann McKechin in Glasgow North might survive the cull.
As the candidates begin to arrive at the count at the Emirates pavilion in Glasgow, the first votes are being counted. Early impressions favour the SNP, but the night is young. Exit polls wider in the UK appear to show that the Conservative and Unionist Party has the number of seats they need for David Cameron to remain in No 10.
The Scottish Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC) were ahead of the vote at their hustings meeting in the Jurys Inn Hotel. They are planning for the Scottish elections next year. Each candidate emphasised that the progress towards a better future would only come through hard work and socialist principles. This general election campaign was a good opportunity to get their issues such as public ownership, anti cuts and anti racism, across to more people. TUSC are fielding 10 candidates in Scotland, four of them in Glasgow Constituencies. Said Glasgow South candidate Brian Smith: ‘We need to get busy on Friday morning. That’s when the real work starts.’ Jamie Cocozza, TUSC candidate for Glasgow North East said: ‘ We don’t agree with the SNP but Labour needs a kicking.’ Angela McCormick, TUSC candidate for Glasgow North said: ‘The rich are completely out of control. It feels as if we’re being ruled, not governed,’ adding ‘It would be nice to win a few seats in 2016.’ Andrew Elliott, TUSC candidate for Glasgow Central was unable to attend because of his trade union duties, said Chairperson Louise Donegan. Before the candidates took the floor, shop steward, Chris Sermanni and Stewart Graham, case worker for the homeless in Glasgow, informed the well-attended meeting of the progress of their six weeks strike for fair pay.
So many people wanted to attend Sunday’s hustings for Glasgow North candidates that the doors had to be closed when the maximum of 150 was reached in Hillhead Baptist Church building. Organised by the West End group of Churches – ACTS – and welcomed by Alison Spurway, the event was chaired by Professor John Curtice whose political commentaries are legendary. He posed the questions which had been submitted earlier.
Each candidate started by setting out their party’s stall. SNP’s Patrick Grady, said he wanted the energy of the Referendum to re-vitalise politics at Westminster. Opposed to austerity and spending on weapons of mass destruction, he said his party would be a strong voice for Glasgow. He said: ‘Glasgow North is a most idverse area of inequality and presents great challenges. The SNP would represet you with heart and passion.’
Simon Bone, the Scottish Conservative and Unionist (CON) candidate for Glasgow Central, stood in on behalf of his party colleague Lauren Anne Hankinson. He said there were three reasons people in the constituency should vote for her on May 7 – ‘We are part of the Union and that was demonstrated by the Referendum. We’re a young party with a growing membership and young leader, Ruth Davidson. And we’re the party for business – especially small and medium enterprises because we’d keep business tax low and opportunities up.’
GREEN Party candidate Dr Martin Bartos, said his party would put public transport back into public hands to keep profit for people not business. ‘We’re the party for people, the planet and peace,’ he added.
UK Independence Party’s (UKIP) Jamie Robertson said this was a most exciting year to have a general election. ‘The Scots always punch their weight in the UK,’ he said.
James Harrison, a candidate in Glasgow North West, was standing in for Scottish Liberal Democrat (LIB DEM)’s Jade Elizabeth O’Neil. He said his Party would promote fair taxes by cutting taxes, raising the tax threshold and introducing new green laws. ‘We’d fight for quality of healthcare and mental health,’ he said.
Ann McKechin, Scottish Labour Party (LAB) – who has held the seat for the past 10 years – said that had been a great privilege and she hoped the electorate would vote for her to continue. ‘I have a strong commitment and am passionate about many things including promoting a living wage, ending the obscenity of fees for industrial tribunals, the future of our young people and social justice.’ She also advocated an end to food banks and stated clearly that she wanted David Cameron out of office.
Angela McCormick of Scottish Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC) said the same old voices of the main Westminster parties had ‘made life misery for thousands.’ She said a key election issue should be the plight of the people who had died in the Mediterranean. ‘The denial of action to save them and the racism of UKIP, should make you cry.’ She railed against ‘the rich getting richer,’ sanctions and the vast numbers who didn’t earn a living wage.
Russell Benson, introduced as the candidate for the ‘Cannabis is Better than Alcohol’ Party correct that, amid laughter, to say he was standing for ‘Cannibis Is Safer Than Alcohol.’ He posited that 1 million patients found cannabis an effective medical treatment and that they should not be criminalised. ‘We could save £300m before even considering tax,’ he said.
Asked their position on nuclear weapons, Ann McKechin (LAB) said she had opposed them since 2007 and voted against the renewal of Trident. Patrick Grady (SNP) said he joined the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament before he joined the SNP. ‘Weapons of mass destruction are a moral outrage. Especially when Ed Milliband said he wouldn’t press the button – yet any Government he might lead would cut help for the poor but spend on weapons. I’d vote against them at every opportunity if elected,’ he said. Simon Bone (CON) posed the question: ‘Why get rid of them when North Korea is working to have them and other countries will have them in a year to 18 months? Yes, they are a deterrent and the Americans pay for them.’ He clarified that the UK pays for the warheads. James Harrison said he wasn’t involved in negotiations so couldn’t say if the Lib Dems would ‘draw a red line’ on Trident reduction but he wanted to see a reduction in the weapons around the world. Martin Bartos (GREEN) admitted the topic depressed him and he was utterly opposed to nuclear weapons. ‘If they are a deterrent, then why not arm everyone in Glasgow with knives or guns? It isn’t rational. It doesn’t make the world safer by having nuclear weapons and calling them deterrents. They are as abhorrent as biological or chemical weapons. True leadership would have the moral authority to get rid of them if they don’t want to destroy the planet.’
Jamie Robertson said UKIP would support renewal but admitted the weapons were frightening. His comment: ‘They do support a lot of jobs in Scotland,’ was greeted with groans from the audience. Angela McCormick (TUSC) immediately responded to say the STUC has that week published a report which ‘knocked the myth of jobs on the head,’ and referred people to the STUC’s website.
On the question: ‘Is the financial deficit really important?’ Simon Bone quipped: ‘personally or Government?’ Then revealed that the debts from World War 1 had just been paid back, finally, three weeks before. ‘We’ve got to balance the books. If we borrow, we have to pay back.’ Martin Bartos pointed out that the way you run a nation’s economy is different from how you manage the money in your wallet. ‘When the banks failed, vast quantities of money were printed which went to the banks. But that did not help. We should let this model of austerity go and scrutinise the dogma that has fed it so long. It is better if we think along the lines of a farmer in difficulty needing resources to buy seeds to sow crops to have the hope of harvesting more in the future.’
James Harrison’s response was to end tax evasion. His party would not rectify things by cutting welfare as the Tory’s had done. Instead Lib Dems would grow the economy to grow more jobs. Ann McKechin said far too many people got too little return for their work. With 500,000 working people dependent on housing benefit, the economy was not working. Higher wages and spending on research and development were ways Labour would grow the economy. Russell Benson’s solution was to ‘take the economy out of the hands of gangsters and put into the hands of public bodies.’ Angela McCormick’s answer for TUSC was to highlight trade union protests on the cuts planned for the following week. She said: ‘This is not your deficit. It is the bankers’ deficit. They gambled and lost. It is a sick joke that we are asked to pay when the 1000 richest people in the UK own £500 billion. If the wealthy tax dodgers were taxed that would bring in £100bn.’ And she warned of bigger cuts to come.
Jamie Robertson’s line from UKIP was to come out of Europe. ‘That would save billions.’ Patrick Grady (SNP) also warned of ‘worse to come.’ But he pointed out that Finance Minister, John Swinney had balanced the books of the Scottish Government since 2007.
A questioner from the audience asked the candidates to justify the loss of thousands of further education lecturers’ jobs. Ann McKechin (LAB) said she’s lobbied Glasgow University to pay the living wage as they had some people on zero hours contracts. Labour’s policy was to stop the exploitation of people by forbidding zero hours contracts after 12 weeks. Patrick Grady said it was a free education that motivated him to get into politics. Jamie Robertson (UKIP) said it was ‘a tragedy’ that people were written off and his party would give people a full-time contract after 12 months.
Angela McCormick (TUSC) said the Tory party – supported by UKIP would be too ‘right wing’ and had already attacked the rights of workers. ‘I work in further education and know we need to start to do things differently.’
The next question was on the refugees dying in the Mediterranean. ‘These are Europe’s Boat People,’ said the questioner. ‘Shouldn’t we let them come and bring their assets?’ With Professor Curtis interjecting: ‘Should we take a share of these refugees?’
Answers ranged from Jamies Robertson confirming his party’s policy on more control of UK borders to prevent ‘unlimited immigration.’ Adding that he favoured the Australian points system. to James Harrison (LIB DEM) saying it was ‘a disgrace’ that Europe had reduced the budget (to save those drowning in the Mediterranean) at a time of great need.
Green Party’s Martin Bartos told how his Czech parents came to the UK in the 1980s and he, with them, worked to be good citizens here. ‘We believe immigration helps the economy and enriches culture.’ He also said that as a psychiatrist, he had treated people (asylum seekers) who had gone through torture. ‘But what was worse was seeing them put through unspeakable things in the immigration process. That is our shame.’
Going against his party’s policy, Conservative Simon Bone declared there wasn’t enough immigration. ‘We forget the numbers we export to Spain, for example. I’d encourage more immigration.’ Patrick Grady (SNP) supported more immigration. ‘We support the right of people to move and be global citizens. Scotland would be a welcome beacon and this would be to our well-being.’ Angela McCormick (TUSC) said the present government had made a conscious decision not to help the asylum seekers and so, in her view, they had murder on their conscience. ‘We take nowhere near the number of refugees we should . This is a humanitarian crisis.’
She added that Dungavel was ‘Scotland’s shame’ and should be closed down. She highlighted an STUC sponsored protest there on Saturday 30 May in solidarity with the asylum seekers detained in Dungavel who are on hunger strike because of the conditions and the unlimited time they are kept there. Russell Benson considered there was a link between people being trafficked, illegal immigration and the unregulated drugs market. ‘We have an archaic policy in the UK.’ Simon Bone (CON) said the UK had a moral duty to help: ‘We were partly responsible for the conflicts that caused people to migrate.’
On the local issue of the future of the North Kelvin Meadow – wild green space wanted by local people for children to play in and by developers to build flats – all candidates were against the commercial development of the space.
Asked by Professor Curtis what aspect of their Party’s policies they were least comfortable with, there was a wide range of answers. Patrick Grady (SNP) said he’d prefer an elected head of state instead of retaining the Queen, though he’d stand by the promise to abolish the House of Lords.
LIB DEM’s James Harrison admitted abandoning tuition fees had been a mistake and cost votes. GREEN’s Martin Bartos wished his party had a much cleverer way to get more people standing as candidates. Russell Benson said that Cannabis Is Safer Than Alcohol was a single issue party. ‘We could fight on more issues – for example safer alcohol. It can be used as a safe relaxant but it is also tearing communities apart.’
Conservative’s Simon Bone said he was a bit embarrassed by members with extreme views going to UKIP. On the bedroom tax, he didn’t think people should be punished for having an extra room. ‘We should be able to manage the situation better by allowing people to rent out the spare room and make some income.’
Ann McKechin (LAB) admitted it was ‘a very difficult question.’ She said she’d like an MP to interpret issues according to their own constituency and their own principles. ‘Some were opposed to the war in Iraq or to Trident and are prepared to take the consequences.’ Angela McCormick said she had no difficulty with anything in her party’s manifesto: ‘I helped write it!’ She added that the most uncomfortable thing for her was to ‘stand here’ at the hustings meeting.
UKIP candidate Jamie Robertson raised a laugh when he said with hesitation: ‘I’d need to read the manifesto (again) but…I support it all.’
On a warm, sunny afternoon in Easterhouse a local Tenants’ Conference ended with a lively hustings with ‘numptie’ and ‘liar’ coming into play. All the candidates for Glasgow East Constituency were present but none was described as a ‘numptie.’
Kim Long the Scottish Green Party candidate used the ‘n’ word. She explained how getting involved in the Referendum campaign showed her how many ‘numpties’ were in positions of authority. ‘More of us have to step up and shape the new politics in a constructive and collaborative way,’ she said. ‘We need something better than cheap jibes and point scoring. That does not tackle the structural problems.’ Listing 17,500 people in Glasgow using food banks, she commented that austerity is NOT progress. Banning of zero hours contracts and making sure that a person’s pay was able to feed their family would guarantee that work would fight poverty. She said the Green Party was disgusted by the sanctions regime and it would make access to employment tribunals free. She also said that working with young offenders in community theatre arts helped her see how broken our justice system is.
Natalie McGarry , Scottish National Party candidate said her party was against zero hours contracts. ‘They are unreliable, unfair and disgraceful as you cannot run a household that way.’ She then read out figures from the Labour controlled Glasgow City Council which stated there were 563 people on zero hours contracts in 2013, 1436 in 2014 and 1689 in 2015. At this point the Labour Councillor for the area shouted from the audience: ‘lies, all lies’ But Natalie replied that the figures were from Glasgow City Council official sources and given to an SNP Councillor who had requested them. ‘You are calling Glasgow City administration liars,’ she said. Earlier she said that three years ago she wouldn’t have had the confidence to speak in public. ‘Thanks to the Referendum Campaign I got a voice. Now I say that politics is not something done TO people but BY people.’ Scandalised by foodbanks and with one in three children in poverty, she said that people deserved better. ‘If the SNP can present a strong opposition (at Westminster) we will challenge Labour and Tory to stop the cuts. We could hold the balance of power and make alliances across the UK parties. The SNP could provide the backbone for a Labour Party that needs one.’
Margaret Curran, Scottish Labour Party (Lab) – who has held the seat since 2010 and who was the local MSP before that – said this was a big election and a big decision which would be decided by people like the audience. ‘Even my fiercest critics say I work hard. I’ve held 1500 surgeries, have 18,000 constituents and helped save Lightburn Hospital,’ said Margaret. Once a welfare rights officer working in the area, she said Labour would increase the minimum and the living wage so that people who worked hard got a decent pay in return. Quizzed about the cuts Labour would make, she said the party would work to balance the books. ‘We would tax the better off who could shoulder the burden. We believe in redistribution so that the mansion tax from the South would be used in Scotland. ‘ At this point she was heckled and told the audience didn’t want to hear a manifesto. ‘This is an important question and an important issue and I should be entitled to reply,’ she responded.
Arthur Thackeray, UK Independence Party (UKIP) said he had worked and been raised in the area. He believe the area needed a local voice speaking for them. Dismissing the ‘legacy’ parties as he called Tory, Labour, Lib Dem and SNP, he said UKIP was the first party to bring new politics which would offer real change. Committed to ending the ‘bedroom tax’ his party would also scrap ATOS assessments, make the NHS free at the point of need, build more social housing, invest in the armed forces and get the UK out of Europe.
Andy Morrison , Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party (Con) said he, too was a local person. ‘I have to be honest – it hasn’t all been peace and light over the past five years. But we are dealing with the fundamentals: – we want to ensure our children and our children’s children can enjoy what we have.’ He said there were fewer university graduates in Scotland and that was a cause for concern. Europe had a higher youth unemployment rate than the UK. But he was proud of the Conservative Party’s record and of his efforts to defend the union.
Gary McLelland, Scottish Liberal Democratic Party (Lib Dem) said his party’s policies were geared to giving people the best possible opportunities to live happily. This included democracy especially at local level, human rights, building alliances and ending the House of Lords. He wanted Dungavel closed and praised the fact that the UK had committed 0.7% to the UN Development spending goal.
Liam McLaughlan, Scottish Socialist Party (SSP) said he might be the youngest candidate at 19, but he had been holding meetings across the constituency campaigning on things like the bedroom tax during the year when the Labour party was trying to make up its mind on its stance on the issue. ‘People here are disaffected. We need to get back to real values in society.’ He also said his party would ban zero hours contracts and make a £10 minimum wage.
The biggest round of applause of the hustings was when Natalie McGarry said the SNP would abolish the House of Lords where a person turning up got £300 for the day. She followed this with a comment about the cuts ripping the fabric of society. ‘Did the people here cause the bank crisis? No! So why are the people in this room paying the cost?’
And SSP Liam McLaughlan also got a lot of applause when he pointed out that at this time of austerity the FTSE financial index – which charts the value of top companies – was worth more than ever. ‘Just let that sink in,’ he said.
Blairtummock Housing Association hosted the event. David Bookbinder, Director of Glasgow and West of Scotland Forum of Housing Associations was chairperson. He kept a tight rein on the candidates but had to deal with some feisty members of the otherwise attentive audience of around 150.
In true Presbyterian tradition, all six election candidates for the Glasgow South seat had their say in Cathcart Trinity Church. Each was listened to with respect by the audience of almost 200 people. Three people who wanted to have a shouting match were politely, but firmly dealt with by the Chairperson, Rev Wilma Pearson and chose to leave.
The format worked well. First, every candidate stating his case, then questions were asked by the Chairperson from those submitted some time before. Each candidate gave his answer. And a final response concluded an informative and carefully timed evening.
Tom Harris who has represented the area for Labour since 2001 when the seat was Glasgow Cathcart, left no one in doubt about his concerns should the SNP ‘sweep the board.’ He said: ‘That is the elephant in the room. There can never be a coalition between Scottish Labour and the SNP. The only sure way to stop them is to vote Labour.’
Stewart McDonald, the SNP candidate was equally certain: ‘If you want business as usual at Westminster, then I’m not your guy. If you want to move forward and hold politicians accountable, you should support me.’
Ewan Hoyle, the Scottish Liberal Democrat representative said that the Liberal Democrats were the major ‘green’ party championing climate change at Westminster. ‘If you want green issues to be on the table at Westminster you should vote Liberal Democrat,’ he said.
Kyle Thornton of the Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party said his party was the only one with a plan to make things better for everyone in Britain. ‘Everyone who wants a job should get a job. There will be help for the young people into jobs or college or university or an apprenticeship. This is not another Referendum. If you want the country to keep together you should vote Conservative.’
Scottish Green Party candidate, Alastair Whitelaw said it wouldn’t be a career disaster for him, personally, if he didn’t get elected. But he urged people to consider the international perspective so that this country cultivated better relationships all over the world. ‘This is the only way to secure our future by being better at the so-called ‘soft’ relationships and being able to speak other languages. Peace, disarmament, food production and climate change are the things that need to be done better in the next 30 to 50 years if we want to make this world a safer place.’
Brian Smith of the Scottish Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC) warned: ‘If you vote tactically, you’ll still get austerity. Think carefully and vote for what you really belive in. Dream dreams, that way you can change society.’
Photograph shows BACK ROW from left: Alastair Whitelaw (Scottish Green Party), Brian Smith (TUSC), Ewan Hoyle (Scottish Lib Dems), Kyle Thornton (Scottish Conservative and Unionist). FRONT ROW from left: Stewart McDonald (SNP), Rev Wilma Pearson, Tom Harris (Scottish Labour Party)
Glasgow Museums has challenged all visitors under the age of FIVE to complete 25 tasks by visiting all nine museums in the city and discovering fun things to see and do in each place before they reach their fifth birthday.
Designed especially to entertain and inspire the under fives, the hunt for the fun is led by a furry friend called Museum Mouse. In a free booklet which can be picked up in all of the museums, the mousie character describes what can be enjoyed where.
Youngsters can hunt for a dragon at the Burrell, imagine they are inside a whale at GoMA or dress up as characters from Sleeping Beauty at Kelvingrove Museum. They can count the many different animals carved on the Doulton Fountain outside the People’s Palace, or copy the funny expressions on the heads in St Nicholas Garden outside Provand’s Lordship. At the Riverside Museum, children can show off their firefighting skills with an interactive fire engine game. St Mungo’s has a scarier version of eye spy with its huge window overlooking the Necropolis. And Scotland Street School offers school uniforms, classroom re-enactments and playground games from past times.
At Glasgow Museums Resource Centre – the only venue requiring pre-booked tours or workshops – the young discoverers can use hat, binoculars and torch to search for Museum Mouse’s trail.
Local youngsters Cameron, Molly and Eva (pictured below) completed all three challenges at the People’s Palace before proudly collecting their stickers at the Enquiry Desk.
Chair of Glasgow Life, Councillor Archie Graham, said more than 3 million people attended the city’s museums last year. ‘Our museums can open up a whole new world to even the youngest of visitors. If parents can spare a little time to help the under fives enjoy the many adventures detailed in this new booklet, they could give their child a lifelong love of exploring, investigating and enjoying arts and culture. I think that is a truly wonderful gift to give the next generation.’
More information on museum opening times, transport options etc at: www.glasgowmuseums.com
Another day another Manifesto. This time the SNP fanfare launched ‘ Stronger for Scotland’ their 1757 word document setting out their stall for this General Election.
Greeted by party faithful in a climbing centre in Edinburgh, Scotland’s First Minister received a standing ovation lasting many minutes before she got to the rostum. She emphasised she was offering ‘the hand of friendship’ to everyone who: ‘wants real and positive change that will make life better for ordinary people across these islands.’
Said Nicola: ‘The SNP – if we are given the chance – will be your allies in making that change.’
Starting by pledging to the people of Scotland that if they voted SNP the party would make the Scottish voice heard ‘more loudly at Westminster,’ and would ‘stand up for Scotland and fight your corner.’ She then went on to promise the people of England, Wales and Northern Ireland: ‘If the SNP emerges from this election in a position of influence, we will exercise that influence responsibly and constructively…and bring to that task eight years’ experience of government – of successful, effective and stable government.’
The manifesto highlighted plans to: end austerity; permit modest spending increases and a ‘slightly slower path to eliminating the deficit completely.’ Nicola said this would allow ‘at least £140 billion extra to be invested in infrastructure, support for business, protection of our public services and policies that will help to lift people out of poverty.’
Asked why England was ‘scared’ of the SNP, she replied that she did not believe ordinary people across the UK were scared. ‘We’ll play a constructive role as long as we are part of the system. We do not seek to bring down a government. We believe we have common cause with people of like mind everywhere in the country.’
And in a direct challenge to David Cameron she said: ‘I oppose any attempt to undermine the SNP at Westminster.’
Not yet registered to vote? You have till midnight tonight – Monday 20 April 2015 – to claim your right to vote. There is a simple online form asking about 11 questions including your national insurance number if you have one. Said Alex Robertson, Director of Communications at the Electoral Commission: ‘If you aren’t registered by midnight on 20 April, you simply won’t be able to vote on 7 May.’ He urged the 7.5 million unregistered people to go to: www.gov.uk/registertovote In the past five weeks around 1.8 million people have registered. Following a recent promotion by the Electoral Commission and Twitter, 300,000 people aged between 16 and 24 registered. But only if an individual is 18 by voting day, can they vote in that election. ‘We’ve had a big push,’ said a spokeswoman. ‘At 1 December last year 7.5 million people had not registered or re-registered.’ If a person moves address, they will need to re-register at the new address. Every vote counts, especially when the outcome is on a knife edge according to all the polls.