It’s crunch time. Anyone who doesn’t register to vote by 11.59pm on Monday 22 May will not get to vote in the general election on June 8 and thereby waives their right to have a say in their own future.
In the last general election, 34% of UK people registered to vote did not vote – that’s a higher percentage of people than voted for either of the majority parties, with Conservatives taking 24% of the potential vote and Labour with 20% (37% / 30% if you only include those who did vote).
So for anyone who thinks that their vote doesn’t matter, if just a fraction of those non-voters had had their say, we could be living in a very different country right now. Or not, of course, but apathy isn’t a good look on a nation.
In a bid to help shift these disappointing numbers, pubs across the country have banded together with a new initiative aimed at first time voters – Vote This Year Get Free Beer.
The scheme was launched by Bristol landlord Joby Andrews, who owns the Lazy Dog, The Windmill and Pipe and Slippers, and the rest of Bristol has come out in full force, making up well over a quarter of participating venues (see the full list of Bristol venues below). All you have to do to claim your free beer is register to vote before the deadline and take your confirmation email to any of the pubs taking part.
Although the campaign’s main aim is to get non or first-time voters off their arses and engaging with the general election, return voters are not being totally left out, with a chance to win tickets to Love Saves the Day, Shambala Festival, the Alfresco Disco Boat Party and Wonderfields Festival.
Registering to vote takes less than two minutes and all you need is your national insurance number. You can find this on any old payslip from the time you were 16. Or, you can get hold if it here. STUDENTS – you can vote at home or at university.
Register to vote here: gov.uk/register-to-vote
Remember, it’s cool to care.
CLAIM YOUR FREE BEER AT:
1) The Lazy Dog, 112 Ashley Down Road, Bristol BS7 9JR
2) The Pipe and Slippers, 118 Cheltenham road, Bristol BS6 5RW
3) The Windmill, 14 Windmill Hill, Bristol BS3 4LU
4) The Plough, 223 Easton Rd, Bristol BS5 0EG
5) Red Lion, 206 Whitehall Rd BS5, Bristol BS5 9BP
6) The Love Inn, 84 Stokes Croft, Bristol BS1 3QY
7) The Shakespeare, 1 Henry street, Totterdown, Bristol, BS3 4UD
8) Biblos Calypso Kitchen, Unit 3, Gaol Ferry Steps, Wapping Wharf, Bristol BS1 6WE
9) The Bank Tavern, 8 John St, Bristol, BS1 2HR
10) Flipside Cocktail Club, 109 Whiteladies Road Bristol, BS8 2PB
11) The Drapers Arms, 447 Gloucester Road Bristol BS8 7TZ
12) The Inn On The Green, 2 Filton Road, Horfield, Bristol, BS7 0PA
13) Yurt Lush, Clock Tower Yard, Bristol, BS1 6QH
14) Fromes Venue @ The Wheatsheaves, 23 Bath Street, Frome, Somerset, BA11 1DJ
15) Dutch, 16 west street, Bristol BS2 0DF
16) Chicken Shed, Cargo Gaol Ferry Steps, Bristol BS1 6WP
17) Motion 74-78 Avon Street Bristol BS2 0PX
18) The Green Man, 21 Alfred place Bristol BS2 8HD
19) The Kensington Arms 35-37 Stanley Rd, Bristol BS6 6NP
20) The Pony & Trap Chew Magna, Knowle Hill, Bristol BS40 8TQ