Under 25s offered free parliament tours ahead of the general election
In a quest to encourage more political engagement in under-25 voters, young people are being offered free tours of the Houses of Parliament in the run up to the general election.
Young people will be able to scoop free tours of the Houses of Parliament in the run up to the general election on 8th June.
The tours, which normally cost £28 a pop, will be free to anyone aged 18-24. This is all part of efforts to encourage more young people to vote next month, and to register to vote before the 22nd May.
During the tour, you'll be taken round the House of Commons, the House of Lords and Westminster Hall. You'll also get to discover the debating chambers and the voting lobbies of both of the Houses.
Why free tours?
The government hopes this initiative will encourage young people to register, vote, and generally engage more with the whole democratic process if they see where all the country's big decisions are made.
David Natzler from the House of Commons has said:
We hope that young people from all over the UK will take this opportunity to visit Parliament and play their part in the democratic process as a result.
There's a widespread stereotype that young people are disengaged with politics, but as a recent survey suggests, this doesn't count for students, who are statistically politically engaged.
However, the number of young people voting in elections overall is still low – but it seems that figures are on the rise.
Government figures show that 390,000 people under the age of 25 have registered to vote since Theresa May announced the snap election last month (58,000 on the day following the announcement alone) – that's a whopping 42% of the total number of registrations!
But where to register?
This said, campaign group 'Hope Not Hate' have warned that students are still likely to be the most under-represented group in the election, due to confusion over whether they should register to vote at home or at their university town.
What’s more, the election is happening smack bang in the middle of exam (and holiday, and festival!) season, when few students will want to travel to cast their vote.
The group’s research showed that, while the electoral register grew by 1.1 million between 2015 and 2016, many towns and cities with large student populations have seen dramatic falls in numbers.
However, students can actually register to vote at both home and at uni if they're unsure of where they'll be, or they can register for a postal vote if they'll be out of the country (but they can only vote at one location, of course!).
How to bag your free tour
While the tours are free, you'll still need to book your place. Tickets are a must (you can get advanced tickets here or call +44 (0)20 72194114 ) and you also need to bring a proof of age along with you.
You'll be able to book your tour on the following days:
- Monday to Saturday between 11 and 20 May
- Wednesday to Saturday between 25 May and 3 June
Have you registered to vote in the general election yet? If you don't know whether you'll be at home or still at uni – register at both locations, or register for a postal vote! You have until 22nd May to register.
And whilst you're here – which party is likely to get your vote? Take part in our poll below…