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We’re voting today

Dear friends,

We’re voting today. From the ash cloud to the TV debates, it’s been an extraordinary election campaign! But we’re not just spectators. In the end, we decide. And there’s so much at stake -- this vote could set our country’s course for a generation.

With only hours to go, let’s make sure we’ve got all the information we need today -- and forward this email to friends and family now, encouraging EVERYONE to vote!

More of us than ever are yet to decide. So here are some facts about this election.

Can we beat two-thirds of 45 million?
There are more than 45 million registered voters in this country -- but in 2005, less than two-thirds of us used our votes.

This time, the outcome is closer than ever -- and for once, every vote will count. If no party wins an overall majority then the nationwide total of votes they’ve each received, the popular vote, will show what the public wants. So let’s ALL vote this time!

Best policies for the future?
There are big decisions looming under the next government: the future of our economy and society, of our schools, our hospitals and our environment, our loans and taxes, where our energy comes from and even our place in the world could be deeply affected by the outcome of this election.

It’s decision time, so let’s make sure we know what we’re voting for. Here are two independent links we can all use to compare our views to the various parties’ pledges:

http://www.votematch.org.uk/ (fill out a questionnaire and match views to party policies)

FT manifesto comparison: http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/4396b1ec-47eb-11df-b998-00144feab49a.html (3 big parties only)

How it works in your area
We’re casting our votes for the party candidate we most want to represent our constituency in Parliament. Almost 6 in 10 of us live in “safe seats” - constituencies with a built-in majority where one party is certain to win. But that doesn’t mean we don’t have a vote -- it means we can vote for whoever we like best!

To find out if your constituency is “safe”, click here: http://www.voterpower.org.uk
(And whatever it says, let’s ALL vote -- together we'll decide the crucial UK-wide total!)

If your local area is more marginal, usually there are two parties with a real chance of winning (sometimes three). Many people will then decide to vote tactically – for the best or least-bad party out of those which could actually win in our area.

(For example, http://www.voteforachange.co.uk is a well-designed website which advises who to vote for in every area to get a balanced parliament and electoral reform -- or see the PS below for guides to pro-Labour or pro-Conservative tactical voting.)

Let's vote and tell our friends!
Polling stations nationwide will be open between 7am and 10pm on Thursday for us to cast our votes. We should all have a poll card which says where our local polling station is (or we can call the council and ask). If you have your poll card, bring it with you when you vote, but don’t worry if not. We could even go and vote with friends or family!

With only hours to go, let’s use the links above to make sure we’ve got all the information we need -- let’s forward this message, and make sure we ALL use our votes this time!

With hope,

Paul, Alice, Iain, Ricken and the whole team

PS Over 30,000 of us have signed the petition against tabloid media scaremongering: http://www.avaaz.org/en/the_kingmaker
The message was delivered in a Parliament Square flashmob which made the Six O'Clock News on Tuesday!

Other links:

A pro-Labour/LibDem tactical voting guide from the Guardian: http://www.guardian.co.uk/politics/2010/may/05/election-2010-tactical-vo...

A pro-Conservative tactical voting guide from the Daily Mail: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/election/article-1272454/ELECTION-2010-H...

A website which has been gathering questions and answers on local and national issues from some candidates: http://www.theyworkforyou.com/election

PPS Don’t forget to vote -- whoever you vote for!