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Election 2015
Election 2015
Election 2015 | Participate don't just commentate
 
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Blog
A space is where a wide, diverse and most importantly, opinionated, group of people will contribute their thoughts about Election 2015. We're looking forward to a conversation developing from this and welcome your comments.
 
Election 2015 - facts and figures
Here are a few interesting facts and figures related to the upcoming general election.
 
The unofficial general election campaign has begun
The unofficial general election campaign has begun. Here is a summary of some of the key announcements and issues that have come up so far in 2015.
 
Why aren't women showing up at the ballot box?
The Evangelical Alliance's director of communications, Chine Mbubaegbu looks at the issue of women increasingly not showing up to vote.
 
Let's Show Up in 2015 and make a positive difference
MP Gary Streeter and Chair of Christians in Parliament talks about the vision of the Show Up campaign and why he is encouraging Christians and the church to get involved.
 
The countdown to Election 2015 is getting closer every day...
Our Northern Ireland public policy officer David Smyth explores some of the key issues that will be affecting Northern Ireland in the upcoming general election.
 
Two heresies that plague Christian engagement in politics
Dr Krish Kandiah, President of London School of Theology and Founder and Director of Home for Good wrote a brilliant piece for Christian Today addressing some of the key issues plaguing Christian engagement in politics. This thought provoking piece challenges the status quo of pushing a traditional Christian agenda which at times is doing more harm than good and often ignores critical issues affecting our society. He offers his support for the Show Up campaign and encourages Christians towards more positive involvement in politics.
 
Campaign steps up with 100 days to go
There are 100 days or 2,400 hours, until the general election on 7 May, one of the most unpredictable elections in a generation. This is a milestone that tends to mean more to politicians and journalists than voters.
 
Do your great great great granddad proud
An uncertain future for a Prime Minister; controversial debates over the real causes of poverty; fierce criticism of the wealthy elites; a desperate need for reform to a creaking healthcare system; rising tensions over immigration. You’d think I’d be about to launch into a rant about some of the fruitiest battlegrounds ahead of May’s unpredictable General Election. Rather I’m talking about the spring of 1866 where I’ve spent much of the last year researching a novel centred in the smoggy recesses of Victorian London. Andy Tilsley, a leader at ChristChurch London discusses why voting in the upcoming election is important to him as he reflects on the freedoms we have today.
 
Beyond Pantomime Politics: KLICE pauses for thought before May 2015
In the months leading up to the general election on 7 May 2015 you will be regaled with a barrage of palpably biased and sometimes mischievously misleading verbal messages. On top of that you will be exposed to a dizzying kaleidoscope of distorting images and other insidious visual cues. These assaults will try to encourage, entice, bamboozle or bribe you to vote one way or the other. Elections in the UK have been descending further and further into the realm of cynical, manipulative, competitive advertising campaigns. With no party remotely confident of a governing majority this time round, we can expect the onslaught to be even more relentless. What is often most disheartening about the psephological pantomimes we must still call ‘elections’ (‘we’ll cure the deficit!' – ‘oh no you won’t!’) is that many politicians have clearly persuaded themselves to believe their own crude propaganda.
 
Voting: a biblical responsibility
You don’t need to be an expert to recognise the mood of the nation. We’ve endured public spending scandals, austerity cuts coupled with rising living costs, a sense that we’re not being listened to by the very MPs we’ve voted into office and a lack of substance coming from political parties. Given this rather uninspiring state of politics it’s not surprising that many of us are feeling underwhelmed at the prospect of voting at the next general election in May 2015 - much less engaging further in the political process.
 
If you care about your neighbour you care about politics
"I don't care about politics. I'm just not interested. Those politicians – they're all the same. They haven't a clue about what's going on out here in the real world. Politics does nothing for me. Why should I give them my vote? They don't care about me." I have heard these sort of statements regularly over the last 10 years. In fact I have some sympathy for these views. Given what we pick up about politics from the media, I don't blame people. But when somebody says "I don't care about politics", I have to ask the question in return, "But do you care about your neighbourhood?"
 
National Education Curriculum
‘Education, education, education’ was the pre-millennial mantra of the Blair government. But it wasn’t just about education – the need for improved education was deliberately and inextricably linked in government policy with the need for economic growth. Nearly twenty years later, economic growth is seen as a moral imperative and it has become the engine which drives education policy.
 
Religious Education
The 1944 Education Act enshrined in law the statutory requirement for schools to provide religious education. Every day was to start with a daily act of Christian worship and religious education lessons were compulsory, although parents had the right to opt their children out of RE and collective worship. Seventy years on, has anything changed?
 
Wanted: GPs
The Royal College of General Practitioners recently released an advert encouraging more young doctors to choose General Practice as a career. This got me thinking. Would seeing such an ad have influenced my career choice when I was a young doctor? All the political parties agree that GP numbers need to increase but none have stated how they intend to achieve their target. GP training schemes are failing to fill all the available places, so they are going to have to think of something amazing to reverse the trend.
 
Personal, Social and Health Education
The government is set to radically change the delivery of personal, social and health education (PSHE). There are some serious concerns and Gill Robbins takes a look at the current state of play, the changes proposed and raises some specific issues we should be thinking about.
 
What happens to parliament during the general election?
Before the general election on 7 May, 2015 and before a new parliament can be formed, the current parliament must officially end. The process of shutting up shop is rather complex so here is some key information to help you understand the process.
 
Parliament cares more about foxes than genetic engineering
Parliament has passed a law to allow for three-parent babies, which will fundamentally change the creation of human life. And they barely gave it a passing glance. The amendment to the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Act allows for mitochondrial donation. This procedure would see mothers with faulty mDNA create a healthy embryo with parts of their embryo, the healthy mDNA of a second mother and the father’s sperm in an effort to avoid certain, rare genetic conditions. This procedure remains unproven and its full affects unknown. It is patently unethical even to consider permanently and artificially changing the human germ line given the fact that the procedure remains unproven, its safety is yet to be determined, and the long term consequences remain unknown. This is in essence human experimentation.
 
Welfare reform remains unresolved?
Sinn Fein dramatically withdrew their support for the welfare reform bill on Monday and instead blocked the Bill’s passage with a petition of concern. Sinn Fein claim that the DUP failed to uphold commitments made at the Stormont house agreement around protection of vulnerable claimants both now and in future. The DUP have said that the vulnerable will be protected under the Agreement which holds in budget the Government’s other commitments to health and education etc. They have accused Sinn Fein of trying to renegotiate the Agreement months after it was made. Undoubtedly very different ideologies come into play here but both parties have accused each other of bad faith and failing to keep their commitments.
 
Those Who Show Up: Book Review
It’s election time so everyone under the sun is talking about politics. And yes, idea magazine went a bit crazy this month. I’m one of those people who can’t get enough politics but with the onslaught of party manifestos, leaflets through the door and television broadcasts, there will be times in the next two months when I decide I’ve had enough. The challenge we face is not whether we get fed up, but how we respond. In Andy Flannagan’s new book Those who show up he makes a passionate and persuasive case for the importance of political engagement.
 
The NHS: Improving People’s Lives?
Did you know that one of the core values of the NHS is “Improving People’s Lives”? This sounds like a fine aim, but I have my reservations. Of course, if I can diagnose and treat people who are unwell and they get better, this will improve their life (I hope). But are there limits to the improvement health care workers can make to the lives of patients?
 
How should Christian doctors vote?
For some the key question will be about who they would prefer as prime minister for the next five years. But for others it will be a matter of which specific issues they care about most and how the various parties and candidates stand on these.
 
10 reasons Christians should vote in the election
In 37 days the UK will go to the polls in one of the most hotly contested elections in living memory. Yet many Christians are ambivalent about it. Some people think that politics and faith don't mix, but I would say that misunderstands God's nature. If your God is not interested in politics then you are not worshipping the God of the Bible. Take the Lord's Prayer for example. In it we pray that God's Kingdom would come - that is a politically loaded prayer. It is asking that the reign of God would come to fruition here on earth as it is currently in heaven. We pray not that souls would escape up to heaven, but for God's kingly reign to invade our world. Of course, politics is far more than voting in general elections. We seek God's reign for every second of our Christian lives, not just for one day every five years. So in one sense voting is the very least we can do. It is us, as believers, playing our part in the democratic process that we have been invited to participate in.
 
Seven things we learnt from the Leaders' Debate
Seven parties leaders debated in the major set piece event of this election campaign, but who came out on top, and what did voters learn from it? Are we any clearer on who will win on 7 May?
 
Labour promises no extra borrowing
This week sees the political parties releasing their party manifestos. In what is shaping up to one of the most tightly contested elections, voters will no doubt be looking to how the parties will differ in their vision and plan for Britain’s future. At this stage there doesn’t seem to be a lot of difference between the major parties. The Conservatives, Labour and Liberal Democrats have all promised to get rid of the current deficit. While the Conservatives and Liberal Democrats have set a target of 2017/18, Labour isn’t committing to a date instead offering the rather ambiguous commitment of “soon as possible”. The current polling average puts Labour slightly in the lead, no doubt giving party leader Ed Miliband a confidence boost ahead of his speech launching their party manifesto which saw Labour pledging to borrow no extra money.
 
Conservatives pledge to extend right-to-buy
In an effort to convince voters that the Conservatives remain the best party to lead the country, Cameron has reached into the Thatcher era to revive the right-to-buy scheme which proved so popular in the 1980s. Today in Swindon David Cameron launched the Conservative’s general election manifesto leading with the promise to extend the right-to-buy scheme for housing association tenants. With an aim to guarantee a “good life” for British workers and families, Cameron said his party is the party for the working people and pointed to the extension of right-to-buy, which could see up to 1.3 million tenants buy their homes at a discount as a significant way to achieve this “good life”.
 
Green Party call for a revolution
The Green Party manifesto, unveiled by leader Natalie Bennett and the party’s only MP Caroline Lucas, calls for a “peaceful political revolution” to end austerity and tackle climate change. They makes some grand promises including increasing the minimum wage to £10 an hour, insulating nine million homes, increasing pensions, a million new public sector jobs and “taking back” the NHS and railways from the private sector. Throughout the campaign concerns have been raised about the Greens’ inability to robustly defend their numbers when it comes to their big promises. They claim optimistically and some say, naively, that they’ll raise a massive £30 billion extra by clamping down on tax avoidance. Brian Heatley admitted to the BBC that they can’t really be sure how much their new wealth tax would raise because they haven’t tried it before. They also say they would continue to spend more each year than the government gets from revenue. However they won’t say if this means deficits forever but it certainly sounds like it.
 
NI Hustings Report: East Belfast
An exciting, if not a little tense, atmosphere was building as the evening kicked off in Willowfeild Church of Ireland.
 
A campaign for social justice or morality?
‘Do you only care about issues like abortion and same-sex marriage? What about social justice - protecting the poor and vulnerable instead of ranting about morality?’
 
Liberal Democrats say no party will govern alone
The Liberal Democrats launched their election manifesto on the basis that no party would be able to govern alone after the election. In an effort to entice voters, leader Nick Clegg declared that the Liberal Democrats would be act as a “barrier” to prevent UKIP or the SNP holding the balance of power and, “add heart to a Conservative government and…a brain to a Labour one”. Clegg went on to say their manifesto was a sensible “insurance policy” against extreme cuts or reckless borrowing. As would be expected with such a middle of the road approach, the manifesto has little in the way of setting a clear, distinct path. Rather Clegg has hedged his bets on voters seeing them as a safe, centrist option. This is an expected approach given the Liberal Democrats have had five years to prove they are a viable coalition partner. Their five key policies are balance the budget in a “fair” way, guaranteeing education funding “from cradle to college”, increasing the income tax personal allowance to £12,500, an £8 billion hike in NHS funding and five green laws to protect the environment.
 
UKIP pledges a low tax revolution
Nigel Farage launched UKIP’s manifesto with the assurance their policy costings had been fully costed and independently verified by the Centre for Economics and Business research. This is in stark contrast to their approach in 2010 which Farage has dismissed as drivel. UKIP have pledged to keep workers on the minimum wage out of tax, raise the 40p tax rate threshold to £55,000, introduce a new 30p tax band and scrap inheritance tax. Farage believes these pledges are the best way to make work pay and support hard working people. He went on to say that this £18 billion tax cut would be funded by the more than £32 billion they say they would save by cutting government spending. These cuts would be made by cutting foreign aid spending (repealing the law to give 0.7% of GNI), leaving the EU, scrapping the HS2 rail link and changing the Barnett funding formula for the nations.
 
The SNP try to rock the vote
The Scottish National Party launch their manifesto setting out key policies for the election including the continued desire for further autonomy for Scotland. The SNP also make clear what their priorities would be in any future negotiations to support potential governments.
 
The NHS: there when you need it?
The election campaign is underway and predictably the NHS has become one of the first battlegrounds. Within the first few days one party said that if elected they will make the NHS the first health system to run full services seven days a week. The reason for this is a good one. If you become ill at the weekend you’re more likely to have an adverse outcome compared to a weekday. The solution offered is to have more doctors and support services available at weekends. It seems so simple it is incredible that no-one has thought of it before. But what might the implications be?
 
Trust me I'm a party leader
One week ahead of the general election David Cameron, Ed Miliband and Nick Clegg faced a Question Time audience and were grilled on their policies and priorities. Danny Webster takes a look at the non-debate and considers what we might learn after the three leaders' time under the spotlight.
 
Why should Christians be involved in politics?
Some Christians argue that it is not our business to be involved in politics. First, they argue, we have more serious matters on which to concentrate: getting people to heaven is more important than trying to straighten out a fallen world. Second, politics is so corrupt that we must keep a distance, lest we become contaminated. A third argument is that as God is sovereign, so he can be trusted to take care of politics. To this last argument I would respond that we have to be very careful that we do not make God’s almighty power a convenient excuse for avoiding our own responsibility: the Bible says a great deal about humans being God’s vice-regents in the world and one of God’s first commissions to humanity is for us to rule, subdue and be fruitful in the earth. This commitment to involvement is not only significant for how we live our own lives but for how we Christians are to engage with society as a whole. In fact, much of Britain’s governmental system and the fundamentals of Western democracy were developed out of the Christian view of who human beings are and how we are to relate to each other.
 
What CAN'T you do in a polling station?
Most British people are familiar with what goes on inside a polling station. You march in, possibly brandishing your polling card, you give your name and address, someone finds you on a list and gives you a ballot paper. You then head off to a booth to use your stubby pencil to mark your X. The BBC has pulled together this helpful guide so you know what the rules are when you're in the polling station.
 
Did you know?
Find out some interesting facts about UK elections. Such as the first women elected to the Commons was Countess Markievicz. She represented Sinn Fein and refused to take up her seat in the Commons. The first woman elected to the Commons who did take up her seat was Nancy Astor in 1919.
 
The Election - Two Northern Irish Reflections
Our Belfast interns share some thoughts on election night
 
Hustings
Hustings and other events
Find out all you need to know about how to run hustings as well as up to date information about hustings planned across the UK.
 
How to organise an election hustings
The Evangelical Alliance has prepared a brief guide to help you organise your own election hustings.
 
Religious Liberty Commission Hustings Resource
The Religious Liberty Commission have produced a hustings resource which includes suggested questions you can ask candidates about issues to do with religious liberty. The Religious Liberty Commission is a commission of the Evangelical Alliance that brings organisations working on behalf of persecuted Christians together to speak with one voice. Each member organisation has its own distinctive mandate, but all feel the issue of Christian persecution is so important they want to speak together regularly to raise awareness of key developments globally, in a significant and collaborative way.
 
Election Forum with Duffield Christian Council
The Duffield Christian Council, which represents the five churches in Duffield, is organising a hustings for the Mid Derbyshire Constituency on Monday 27th April at 7.30pm.
 
Question Time in Waveney
Christ Church in Waveney is hosting a hustings on Thursday 30, April with candidates from the Conservatives, Labour, Greens and UKIP. This is a chance to ask questions about local, national and ethical issues. All are welcome and admission is free. Refreshments will be provided afterwards.
 
Question Time in Southampton Test
Churches Together in Shirley & District have arranged a hustings for Southampton Test where you can ask your questions and hear from your candidates.
 
Hustings in your area
CARE have produced an extensive list of hustings around the country. Have a look to see if there is one in your area.
 
Hustings in Bishops Stortford
Churches Together in Bishops Stortford are organising a hustings to allow the people of Stortford to get to know the candidates for the Hertford and Stortford constituency and to hear their views on various local, national and international issues. The hustings will be chaired by Rev Tim Weeks, current chair of Churches Together Bishops Stratford.
 
Church Hustings in Wales
Here you'll find a list of a range of hustings in Wales. For further information you can email Jim Stewart - j.stewart@eauk.org
 
Alliance of Basingstoke Churches' Hustings
The Alliance of Basingstoke Churches are holding a hustings on Thursday 30 April where you will have the chance to meet local candidates and ask your questions.
 
#ask2015 Rhythms and Threads Hustings
Tearfund Rhythms and Threads have teamed up to bring you the #ask2015 hustings ahead of the general election in May. There are only 100 places so book your place asap! Tickets are free but you do need to be registered to attend via the Eventbrite page https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/ask2015-hustings-tickets-16481302018. We'll have representatives there from the five main political parties. Confirmed so far: Rachel Collinson, Green Party Candidate for West Ham JP Floru, Conservative Candidate for Bermondsey and Old Southwark Anuja Prashar, Liberal Democrat Candidate for Beckenham Gavin Shuker, Labour Candidate for Luton South UKIP representative TBC CHAIR: Madeleine Davies, Deputy news editor of the Church Times Submit questions in advance via social media (@TearfundRhythms or @threadstweets), and ask questions direct to the panel on the night about issues you care most about. This is your chance to grill polititians just two weeks before the UK takes to the polls - don't miss the opportunity. The event is aimed at those aged 18-30ish but we won't be checking ID on the door! Young voters were the least represented group of people in the last election. The nearest tube is King's Cross. York House looks more like an office block than a church and the screening room is on the second floor. We're looking forward to seeing you there.
 
Greenwich & Woolwich Hustings
The Church of England deanery of Charlton in association with the Greenwich Ecumenical Borough Deans are hosting a hustings in Greenwich giving local people the chance to put forth their questions to the candidates.
 
Hustings for the Eastleigh Constituency
King's Community Church in Southampton will be hosting a hustings for the Eastleigh Constituency where you can ask your questions to the candidates.
 
Hustings for the Amersham and Chesham Constituency
Churches Together in Chalfont St Giles will be hosting a hustings for the Amersham and Chesham Constituency. This will be chaired by Dr Bob Bradnock who is a research fellow at King's College London and a broadcaster for BBC.
 
Hustings for the Epping Forest Constituency
Churches Together In Loughton are hosting a hustings event for Epping Forest Constituency where you get the chance to ask your questions and hear what the candidates have to say.
 
Church Hustings in Scotland
A list of all known church hustings in Scotland.
 
All Saints Church Hustings
A panel of candidates for the Romford Constituency at the forthcoming general election will be asked to outline their policies on issues such as Family, Education, Health, & Social Justice.
 
Yate & Chipping Sidbury
The local churches of Yate & Chipping Sidbury are organising a hustings on Thursday 23 April where you can ask your questions to the candidates.
 
Manifestos
UKIP's Election Manifesto 2015: Believe in Britain
Here you'll find a summary of UKIP's policy pledges as laid out in their election manifesto. Nigel Farage launched UKIP’s manifesto with the assurance their policy costings had been fully costed and independently verified by the Centre for Economics and Business research. A stark contrast their approach in 2010 for a manifesto Farage has dismissed as drivel. UKIP have pledged to keep workers on the minimum wage out of tax, raise the 40p tax rate threshold to £55,000, introduce a new 30p tax band and scrap inheritance tax. Farage believes these pledges are the best way to make work pay and support hard working people. He went on to say that this £18 billion tax cut would be funded by the more than £32 billion they say they would save by cutting government spending. These cuts would be made by cutting foreign aid spending from 0.7% to 0.2% of GNI, leaving the EU, scrapping the HS2 rail link and changing the Barnett funding formula for the nations.
 
Liberal Democrats' Election Manifesto 2015: Stronger Economy. Fairer Society. Opportunity for Everyone.
Here you'll find a summary of the Liberal Democrats' policy pledges as laid out in their election manifesto. The Liberal Democrats launched their election manifesto on the basis that no party would be able to govern alone after the election. In an effort to entice voters, leader Nick Clegg declared that the Liberal Democrats would be act as a “barrier” to prevent UKIP or the SNP holding the balance of power and, “add heart to a Conservative government and…a brain to a Labour one”. Clegg went on to say their manifesto was a sensible “insurance policy” against extreme cuts or reckless borrowing. As would be expected with such a middle of the road approach, the manifesto has little in the way of setting a clear, distinct path. Rather Clegg has hedged his bets on voters seeing them as a safe, centrist option. This is an expected approach given the Liberal Democrats have had five years to prove they are a viable coalition partner.
 
Greens' Election Manifesto 2015: For the common good
Here you'll find a summary of the Greens' policy pledges as laid out in their election manifesto. The Green Party manifesto, unveiled by leader Natalie Bennett and the party’s only MP Caroline Lucas, calls for a “peaceful political revolution” to end austerity and tackle climate change. They makes some grand promises including increasing the minimum wage to £10 an hour, insulating nine million homes, increasing pensions, a million new public sector jobs and “taking back” the NHS and railways from the private sector.
 
Labour's Election Manifesto 2015: Britain can be better
Here you'll find a summary of Labour's policy pledges as laid out in their election manifesto. This week sees the political parties releasing their party manifestos. In what is shaping up to be one of the most tightly contested elections, voters will no doubt be looking to how the parties will differ in their vision and plan for Britain's future. At this stage there doesn't seem to be a lot of difference between the major parties. The Conservatives, Labour and Liberal Democrats have all promised to get rid of the current deficit. While the Conservatives and Liberal Democrats have set a target o 2017/18, Labour isn't committing to a date instead offering the rather ambiguous commitment of "as soon as possible".
 
Conservatives' Election Manifesto 2015: A brighter more secure future
Here you'll find a summary of the Conservatives' policy pledges as laid out in their election manifesto. In an effort to convince voters that the Conservatives remain the best party to lead the country, Cameron has reached into the Thatcher era to revive the right-to-buy scheme which proved so popular in the 1980s. Today in Swindon David Cameron launched the Conservative's general election manifesto leading with the promise to extend the right-to-buy scheme for housing association tenants.
 
Manifestos
A summary of each of the main party policy pledges as laid out in their election manifestos.
 
SNP's election manifesto: Stronger for Scotland
The SNP publish their manifesto with pledges of what they would want the future government of the UK to do. They promise to end austerity and increase taxes on the richest. They also intend to press for more powers for Scotland and full financial autonomy.
 
Plaid Cymru's Election Manifesto 2015: Gweithio dros Gymru - Working for Wales
Here you'll find a summary of Plaid Cymru's policy pledges that will be of interest to many evangelical Christians. Setting out to lay the foundations of a post-austerity Wales, their pledges include pay rises for 250,000 Welsh workers to bring them up to a living wage, and to train and recruit 1,000 doctors to safeguard the future of the NHS in Wales.
 
Other Manifestos
Here you'll find links to the full manifestos of other parties standing candidates in the election.
 
Manifestos of the Northern Ireland Parties
A brief summary of the manifestos from the Northern Ireland Assembly parties.
 
News
News
In the lead up to Election 2015 this is where you'll find articles on everything election related so you can keep up to date on policy announcements, election analysis and more.
 
General Election 2015: One year to go
In less than a year Britons will go to the polls to decide who will form the next government. Voters have a lot to consider in the lead up to next year's election. From the economy to the major parties languishing in the polls to the ramifications of Scotland's possible independence to the influence of UKIP on the next parliament. Alongside this many voters are feeling uninspired about what is on offer from political parties, disillusioned with decisions made at Westminster and frustrated that their voices are seemingly ignored by politicians.
 
Who would Jesus vote for?
Church kids from the 90s and early 00s will remember wearing WWJD bracelets. If you’re as brainwashed as me you’ll probably still find “WWJD” randomly popping into your head. It’s not surprising then, that as we strive to live a godly life, we contemplate who Jesus might vote for.
 
Steve Clifford on voting
In this short video, the Director of the Evangelical Alliance shares on why it’s so important for Christians to show up and vote and next year’s General Election
 
Will making voting easier work?
Last week a parliamentary committee suggested making election day a bank holiday, and raised the possibility of compulsory voting and lowering the voting age across the UK – as happened for the Scottish referendum in September. These were all proposals to tackle the low level of political engagement from the Political and Constitutional Reform Committee in their latest report launched to coincide with Parliament Week.
 
Voting. Why bother?
There is nothing to vote for, according to Russell Brand. And with voter turnout steadily declining it seems many people agree with him. You don't need to be an expert to recognise the mood of the nation. Frustration at being ignored by the MPs we voted for, anger at numerous public spending scandals, as well as various other scandals and a lack of leadership and substance coming from political parties have created a sense of disenchantment among voters.
 
Show up resources
If you would like to book a speaker to visit your church to talk about the Show Up campaign and the importance of voting please head to this page and fill out the speaker request form. We've got a range of resources here which you may find helpful as you discuss the election at your church or small group. You'll find the Show Up video, flyers, a prayer and suggested talks.
 
Show Up campaign and video launch
Today sees the launch of the ‘Show Up’ campaign and video. Supported by a wide range of Christian organisations and church networks (see full list below), it calls Christians to more positive engagement in politics. This is the first campaign of its kind. “As Christians, we have spent too long shouting from the sidelines rather than getting on the pitch of political life. This campaign will encourage Christians to move from commentary to participation,” say Andy Flannagan, Claire Mathys and Colin Bloom (co-directors of Christians in Politics) and Dr Dave Landrum, director of advocacy at the Evangelical Alliance.
 
New campaign invites Christians to Show Up
James North, public policy offer for the Joint Public Issues Team which represents the Baptist, Methodist and United Reformed Churches writes about the importance of Christians getting showing up in political life which underpins the ongoing work of the Joint Public Issues Team.
 
I don't know who to vote for
This is a rather embarrassing admission for someone who works in politics. However, my indecision about who to vote for isn’t unusual. It reflects the struggles many voters face. Frustration at being ignored by the MPs we voted for, anger at numerous public spending scandals – along with all the other scandals – and a lack of leadership and substance coming from political parties have created a sense of disenchantment among voters. Is it any wonder that many of us don’t know who to vote for?
 
Idea Magazine Politics Special
The Evangelical Alliance's latest Idea Magazine is a general election special and packed with interviews, articles and resources to inform you and inspire you about voting in the upcoming election and getting involved beyond this.
 
Tom Wright on whether Jesus would vote
"Asking if Jesus would vote is rather like asking if the referee is allowed to score a goal in a football match." Bishop Tom Wright explores the question "would Jesus vote?" in this short video clip.
 
More female MPs expected after general election
A new report by the Electoral Reform Society called Women in Westminster suggests that there could be 44 more female MPs in parliament after the general election in May. It’s likely that 192 women will be elected to the new parliament. Compared with 148 in the current parliament. This would see them representing 29.5 per cent of the Commons. However women make up more of the population than men so there is still a long way to go before we have fair and accurate representation in our parliament.
 
Election 2015: Will you show up?
Church leaders from a wide range of denominations are joining together to call on UK Christians to show up and vote in the upcoming general election, and wider than that, to engage in politics.
 
Register to vote today
To cast your vote on polling day you must be registered, however. There is only one week left to register. There is less than a month to go until the general election, but the result is still impossible to predict, with a quarter of evangelicals undecided on which party to vote for.
 
#ShowUp 2.0
You're planning to vote at the upcoming election on Thursday 7, May but what next? The new Show Up video aims to inspire and provide practical ideas about how you can engage with politics beyond the general election.
 
Budget 2015: an attempt to win back traditional Tory voters
In the lead up to his last budget before the general election, the Chancellor George Osborne promised there would be no gimmicks or giveaways. However with an election looming and the Conservatives desperately needing a successful pre-election launch pad, there was never any doubt that the budget would be shaped by election politics. Taxes on savings will be all but abolished, pensioners will be freed from restrictive annuities, low-income workers will pay less tax and first-time buyers will be handed up to £6,000.
 
New government must work to protect religious liberty and help the poorest in society
Following the general election result Steve Clifford, general director of the Evangelical Alliance, has called on the government to pursue policies that protect religious liberty and help the poorest in society, and for churches to continue to engage in public life.
 
Let's commit to engaging relationally with politics
Amelia Abplanalp writes Friday Night Theology following the election result and calls on Christians to continue to engage in politics and put building relationships at the centre of our approach.
 
Parties
Political parties
Handy links to the websites of the major parties so you can get candidate and policy information straight from the horse's mouth.
 
Policy
Policy
A hub of information, analysis and reaction to political party announcements on major policy areas. These briefings, available closer to the election, are designed to assist you in making your voting decision but are in no way intended to support a particular political party.
 
Education
Check out some of the key issues we need to be thinking about in the upcoming election. In the coming weeks we'll link relevant articles to this page and include party positions on education.
 
Bioethics
In the last five years we’ve seen a number of bioethical issues raised in parliament. It is very concerning to often see a complete disregard for the precious sanctity of life. We continue to see the killing of innocent unborn babies upheld, there was a real threat to our most vulnerable in society with Lord Falconer’s Assisted Dying Bill and the government is currently pushing to legalise a dangerous and unproven procedure which would allow for the creation of three-parent embryos.
 
Religious Liberty
You only have to look at the news locally and abroad on any given day at the moment to see that religious liberty is under pressure. International instances range from violent executions and displacements of religious minorities by IS to human rights abuses and persecution in Africa and Asia. In fact at present, Christians are in danger of violence, intimidation, discrimination and even murder in over fifty countries around the world.
 
Environment
The way Christians treat the earth witnesses to their relationship with the Creator. We are called to cultivate and to co-create with our Creator. In a Western post-industrialised consumer culture it is easy to abdicate our responsibility for the earth. With increased distance between farm and fork it is easy to forget about simple things like soil and water sources. When petrol comes from a pump, oil from a delivery lorry and electricity form the socket in the wall it’s easy to be ignorant or blind to the effects of our consumption. Christians, like many others can fall into the trap of treating the earth as loot to be pillaged in the pursuit of wealth and power instead of a gift to be managed responsibility. In this global age the focus is now increasingly on energy and sustainable food production. Surely these issues are worthy of our prayerful consideration.
 
Party positions on key issues that matter to you
In the latest Idea magazine we asked each of the major parties to provide their positions on the top issues that mattered to Christians in our latest politics survey.
 
Marriage and Family
We believe that strong families form the basis of a strong society, which is why we seek the protection of the family in the way God intended. The Alliance's advocacy teams across the nations are busy lobbying parliament and speaking out on behalf of evangelical Christians on a range of issues, which often affect marriage and the family. In the run up to the election it’s important to consider how each party would support marriage and family.
 
International Development
Across the world around 1 billion people live on less than $1.25 a day – this is the global measure of extreme poverty. The good news is that this has more than halved over the past 25 years, the slightly more sobering aspect is that there are now around 2.8 billions who live on less than two dollars each day – still a crippling level of poverty. Over the past forty years the prominence of international development in political debates has significantly increased. One key feature to this shift has been the role of the church in campaigning for increased and better aid and drawing attention to the issues that affect the poorest across the world. The UK recently fulfilled its pledge to provide 0.7 per cent of GDP for overseas development assistance, and this threshold has now been enshrined in law.
 
Foreign Affairs
The last combat troops have recently left Afghanistan after 13 years of warfare but with considerable instability in Syria and Iraq and the threat of Islamic State foreign affairs are highly relevant to the future of the United Kingdom. Traditionally issues of defence and foreign affairs have not featured significantly in UK elections although some would credit the high level of support received by the Liberal Democrats in 2010 to their opposition to the Iraq War.
 
Economy
With one of the worst economic recessions in living memory resulting in banks collapsing, companies folding and soaring unemployment it’s not surprising the economy has been a central focus for parliament, government and remains a key issue for voters. In the last five years we’ve watched closely as the Conservative-led government has navigated this challenging economic space. Over the last five years, despite rocky periods, the economy has picked up and is predicted to grow a respectable 2.8% this year. The financial services industry has improved and the banking sector has been recapitalised.
 
Welfare, benefits and social security
An overview of welfare, benefits and social security policy ahead of the 2015 general election. This includes a look at what the Bible has to say about the topic and some pointers about how Christians should think about the topic. Also included is a quick run down of the main parties' policies and pledges.
 
Immigration
The topic of immigration is once again a political hot potato in the run-up to this year’s general election. Rarely completely out of the media and with the media often seeming to shape public opinion on the issue, each of the main UK parties – the Conservatives, Liberal Democrats, Labour and UKIP - have set out their respective stalls, providing policies that explain how they will tackle what the media portrays as a simple but what is actually a complex problem.
 
Voting
Voting
Your one stop shop for all you need to know about how, when and where to vote. We've also included a helpful guide on the Westminster system so you can understand how your vote impacts the makeup of parliament and government.
 
How to vote
Details on how to register to vote, finding your constituency, what happens on election day and an introduction to the UK voting system.
 
UK voting system guide
We've prepared a brief guide that explains the voting system we use for Westminster general elections and how this influences the way government is formed.