Polls opened this morning in the much anticipated AV Referendum and local council elections.
Students are eligible to vote in both, assuming they are registered to vote in Southampton. Poll cards were delivered to eligible voters last month. It is still possible to vote by providing an acceptable form of ID at the polling station if they have been misplaced.
The AV campaign has divided students, despite a much more visible campaign on campus from Yes to AV! campaigners. To read the Wessex Scene’s debate on the issue click here. Current opinion polls suggest a heavy defeat for the AV system with 68% of the vote going to the ‘No’ side.
Local council elections are also proving controversial, with the Conservative candidates under pressure following public anger against spending cuts. The main three parties are contesting every seat, with smaller parties such as the Green’s, Trade Union and Socialist Committee and Southampton First hoping to profit from popular discontent with mainstream politics.
Labour are hoping to wrest control of the council from the Conservatives by tapping into anger over cuts to services such as ‘Meals on Wheels’ for the elderly and threatened public libraries.
The Lib Dems are seeking to hold onto their seats following a slip in popularity nationwide. They are running a Save Our Shops campaign in Portswood, in opposition to the controversial grant of planning permission for Sainsbury’s and Lidl supermarkets in the area.
For more information on how to vote click here.