GE2019: Candidate or party?
In the ‘first-past-the-post’ system for Westminster elections you vote for a particular candidate. So there are two key factors we all must consider when deciding who to vote for. We must consider both our local candidates and the parties they represent.
It is very important to know what is going on in your parliamentary area (constituency) and to find out who your candidates are. The key to identifying your candidates is to be sure which constituency you live in. This website is helpful: whocanivotefor.co.uk
A lot may hinge for you on the individual views of your candidates. In some constituencies there will be the option to vote for a candidate who takes the right stance on moral issues, though this is not likely to be the norm.
In casting a vote Christians are not necessarily endorsing every item of policy of the party they vote for. You may decide to back a particular political party which most approximates to where you stand. Or you may consider it better to vote for an exceptional candidate who shares your Christian views across a range of moral issues, even if they are standing for a party you would not naturally support.
You may decide that the most important consideration is to vote for the candidate who is standing for a party which in your view represents the ‘least-worst’ option. You may think it better to vote for one of the Christian political parties that may happen to stand in your area.
Sadly in some constituencies Christian believers may be in what feels like an impossible position. These are decisions which ultimately only you can make. Christians should prayerfully exercise their Christian conscience in these matters. Just because your parents or your colleagues vote in a certain way does not mean that you need to do the same. It is your choice.
But you cannot make an informed decision without knowing what the parties and the candidates stand for. Christians should make it their business to find out the policies of each candidate and party. You should seek to find out their positions on key moral issues.
It is unlikely that you will find a party or a candidate you believe has all the right views. For many Christians there is a genuine dilemma over choosing a party or a particular candidate. Whatever your decision it is relevant to consider how the parties fared in the last election in your constituency.