Why should you care about politics?

If you’re already bored, here’s five reasons you should give a shit about politics. Politicised yet? Now you can read up on joining a political party

What is a political party?

Well, it’s not that kind of party, unfortunately — unless it’s the height of the Covid lockdowns and you’ve been invited to 10 Downing Street for wine and cheese. A political party is an organised group of people who share similar beliefs, goals and ideologies, and their primary purpose is to gain political power and influence government policies by participating in elections and forming a government.

Political parties endorse candidates for political offices such as presidents (in the US), prime ministers (in the UK) governors, legislators and local officials. These candidates then represent their parties in elections that are voted on by citizens who are over 18. Check out this link to find out how to vote in a general election.

How voting works in the UK

In the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, we have a ‘first past the post’ voting system. You might guess from the wordy and slightly over-the-top full title of our sovereign country that the Republic of Ireland is not part of the British Isles, and they have their own political system.

Constituencies and MPs

Everything that is part of the UK is divided into geographical areas known as constituencies. Each of these elects one Member of Parliament (also known as an MP) to represent them in the House of Commons. Political parties and independent candidates put forward individuals to run for election as MPs in each constituency, and the political party that wins the most constituencies and therefore has the most MPs usually forms the government.

Local MPs and councillors

To make things slightly more complicated, whereas your MP represents local interests at the national level, we also elect councillors, who are responsible for matters such as local planning, housing, education and social services.

Who is my local councillor?

If you’re wondering who your local councillor is and you want to raise an issue regarding local services, infrastructure, community development, and the overall well-being of your local area, searching online is your best bet. We hope you find the information you need in our democracy and politics hub. If you think something’s missing, get in touch and let us know, we’re always looking for ways to expand our content.

Useful links

Not sure how to vote? Read this: How do I vote in the general election?

Don’t know who to vote for? Read this: How do I know who to vote for?

Maybe you don’t care about politics. Here are The Mix’s five reasons to give a shit about politics.

Learn about registering to vote or how to spoil a ballot, if you prefer.

Learn about your local council services and how they’re governed.

Marching for the right to protest

What is Kill The Bill and why are young people marching for it? Protesters are angry that the Bill would allow police to impose “conditions” — widely seen to mean restrictions or outright bans — on protests if their actions cause “serious annoyance” to the surrounding community, organisations and businesses. It could mean the police placing start and finish times on protests, or shutting down protests if they restrict access in and out of Parliament.

What is our community saying?


Do I need photo ID to vote?

Yes. The conservative government changed the rules about voting in 2023. You know require photo ID to vote in UK elections.

What type of ID do I need to vote?

The main forms of ID that you’ll need to vote are a driving licence, a passport or a PASS card. Most importantly, it must have a photograph recent enough to still look like you. The rules say it can be expired, so long as the photo is still accurate.

What if I don't have any of those forms of ID?

If you don’t have the right ID for voting, you can also order a free ‘Voter authority certificate’ on the government’s website. You’ll need a recent passport style photo, which you can take with a phone, and your National Insurance number.

Apply for a voter authority certificate.

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