Non-voters’ missing voices

We’re spearheading a national conversation with people across Wales about voting and what politics means to them.

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‘Missing voices’ will find out how people feel about politics in Wales and why so many people still don’t vote.

We want to talk to as many people as possible over the next few months, with the findings of the project will be reported in the autumn.

Why we’re launching ‘Missing Voices’

Having already been to the polling stations for 3 elections and a ‘once in a lifetime’ referendum on Europe in just a year, the people of Wales were asked to vote again in the General Election on June 8th.

Four elections and a referendum – in thirteen months.

June’s General Election saw a three percent rise in turnout in Wales from 2015 and reports suggest that includes a significant peak for young voters. It definitely seemed different from other recent General Elections and for the first time in recent memory, galvanised voters.

Despite the ‘high’ turnout, a significant proportion of the electoral still didn’t vote. Even at the most ‘successful’ votes of recent years, the EU referendum, where turnout reached 71.7% in Wales, we still know that 643,353 people who could have voted did not.

Politics is in a state of monumental change. You could argue it’s never had a higher profile, appearing constantly on the media and our social media. Yet, despite this, a significant proportion of people in Wales do not vote. While voting alone doesn’t ensure a healthy democracy, it’s surely a starting point that many in Wales are missing out on.

It’s time something is done to improve our stretched democracy, it’s time to have a national conversation about how we improve it and how we get more people involved and that’s why we are launching ‘Missing voices’.

How ‘Missing Voices’ will work

We’ll be using everything from online surveys, Facebook group chats, face-to-face focus groups, as well as getting out and talking to people on the street.

We’re not alone – we’ve joined forces with the Electoral Commission, NUS Wales, Cymorth Cymru, Llamau, RNIB Cymru, ProMo-Cymru, Chwarae Teg, the Welsh Government, the National Assembly for Wales, The Wales Institute of Social and Economic Research, Data and Methods (WISERD), Citizens Advice, Open Government Network Wales, Women’s Institute, GAVO, Area 43Muslim Council for Wales, Voluntary Action Merthyr TydfilGypsy & Travellers Wales, Age Alliance Wales, Alzheimers Society, Learning Disability Wales, AVOW, BAVO, Torfaen Voluntary Alliance, Dewis Centre for Independent Living, Blaenau Gwent Peoples First, RCT Peoples FirstNAS Cymru, Young Farmer Wales and the Swansea Council for Voluntary Services on the project.

It’s a chance for you to have your say, to tell us what you think, to make a difference, to improve things and to help make change.

There are a number of ways you can take part in ‘Missing Voices.

If you have any questions about this project or would like further information please email matthew.mathias@electoral-reform.org.uk

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