I got into politics in 2010 when I came across a Cosmopolitan magazine article about an interview with David Cameron. I actually did not know anything about politics or political parties apart from Tony Blair doing something in Iraq!

 

When I did research politics, I began to like the Tories as I thought David Cameron gave a fresh look to the party and was a better choice to boring old Gordon Brown. During the 2010 election though, I wasn’t old enough to vote but really wanted to cast my ballot for Cameron — much to my sister’s and parent’s dismay, as they were all Labour. However, I am now a 23-year-old British-Asian woman that studied for a degree in Social Sciences which changed my outlook on the world. This is because I had learnt the true struggles of the young, old and disabled, and met fellow students that came from very poor backgrounds.

Although back in 2015 I voted Tory again as I did not want the UK to have a hung parliament, at the time I thought this was the best way forward. In some ways I do regret that now, but I think in my heart of hearts I have always seen myself as a centrist. I am a centrist because I truly feel that taking the centre ground is more helpful then going from one extreme to the next — extreme decisions are the reason why young people get depressed, why foreign policy hasn’t worked, or why sometimes parents get divorced. The extreme doesn’t and isn’t helping anyone, which is why I am going to spoil my ballot.

I have spent the past couple of weeks singing ‘eeni meeni miini moh’ in my head, switching between Corbyn or May, Corbyn or May, Corbyn OR MAAAAY!!!!!!! I have probably irritated people through my Facebook statuses about changing my mind which has now made me feel like a blooming attention-seeker, but I do think in my heart I want my friends to actually tell me who to vote for!!! After going over and over it in my head and due to my centrist views, I have decided I don’t want to vote for anyone. So, last night I began researching websites that provide information about spoiling your ballot paper.

One such website called www.votenone.org.uk has called those that spoil their ballot, ‘The Unheard Third’. In a lot of statistics the amount of people that do this are not shown but in fact, recent statistics reveal that 34 per cent of people in the UK did not vote in 2015 — something that wasn’t well represented in the news — and out of the 66 per cent of people that were registered to vote, those that spoiled their ballots were the 13th largest section of the votes counted. This website further showed that from the amount of people who voted, which was 97,870, the number of ballot papers that were categorised as ‘spoiled’ or ‘rejected’ was actually the same number of votes for three to four MPs. But they were not talked or debated much after the general election.

But why are people not wishing to vote for anyone when the UK is admired for its democratic system? Well, I think it is a mixture of the media, Nick Clegg and people like me who want a good centrist party to vote for. I personally don’t want to be patronised into voting for something that I do not believe in. As a young person, I am constantly told to vote for a party like Labour by left-wing journalists and large numbers of young people that have joined Labour due to the many issues we as a generation face — like housing and all the rest of it.

Figures like Owen Jones will talk about these issues and almost force the idea of voting for very left-wing parties along with young left-wing activists, saying how voting Labour will send a strong message to the Tories even if they get a landslide, and how things will get better for us. But what if I vote Labour and things don’t get better? I am just not convinced that Corbyn can actually do the things on what many on the right have called his ‘Comrade Corbyn wish-list’.

So, now you may ask: if I am such a massive centrist then why don’t I vote Lib Dems? And my response has so far been, well isn’t this obvious??!!! But the question is still a valid one since many of the views/policies they offer do relate to mine. However, I am not going to vote for them because I just don’t think they are good enough and their leader is weak, with many people not even aware of his name or what he looks like! As a party, they need to make drastic changes before I vote for them; for one, getting a leader that is electable so Lib Dem MPs stop being questioned as to whether Farron agrees or disagrees with gay marriage.

There you have it, these are the reasons why I am thinking of spoiling my vote!

Who is coming with me to send a strong message?