Local Democracy Weekly: Why this election is important for Lincoln and Lincolnshire

It seems that over the past three-and-a-bit years, we’ve been told “this vote is the most important to take place this generation” so many times and let’s face it, it’s easy to see why an increasingly-jaded electorate sympathises with Brenda from Bristol.

However, as oft-repeated the phrase is, it’s vital to remember that each election is important, not just for Brexit – though clearly, it’s a major factor – but also for Lincoln and Lincolnshire as a whole.

The county’s hospitals – which remain in special measures and continue to miss targets – need so many millions in investment to get them up to scratch; roads and public transport could also use that huge cash injection, especially in rural old Lincolnshire.

Anti-social behaviour and crime is on the rise as police frontlines are cut to the bones, while flood defences and climate change continue to rise steadily on the ladder of priorities going into the future.

Pick your issue of choice and at least one of the competing parties will have a “solution”.

In Lincoln, both Labour and Conservatives have already had their say, and we’ll doubtless hear from the other parties as the weeks go on.

As for Brexit – many are seeing this as the third vote. If Boris Johnson gets his desired majority his deal will go through, if not we could be faced with more renegotiation or even Brexit being taken off the table.

This year’s election is already predicting downfalls of long time champions – including the potential loss of Labour’s 74-year grip on Great Grimsby.

Many are saying it’s the absent voters who could swing it.

Take Lincoln as an example, Labour’s Karen Lee won the last election by just 1,538 votes in 2017. The turnout for that election was 66.6% – a total of 48,718 voters. Just over 2.1% greater or fewer of the electorate voting could have swung it another way.

Next Tuesday (November 26) marks the last chance to register to have your say in what could be the most important elections for a while.

It’s understandable to view elections with scepticism, it’s even understandable to feel democracy is somewhat lacking lately or that your vote might not count.

But if we stop voting, all those claims become reality, democracy loses and people lose their voice – even more than they feel they have now.

Click here to register to vote. — DANIEL JAINES


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