‘Vote for Policies’ smashed their Crowdfunder target with the support of 850 Britons, writes Jessica Ratty.
Vote for Policies is an innovative online voter support service that recently crowdfunded £23,551 (Euro 18,900) from 850 members of the British public. The funds will pay for a new website that’s going to help us decide who to vote for in the 2015 UK general election.
The man behind the website is Matt Chocqueel-Mangan, a social change enthusiast who launched Vote for Policies back in 2010. First time around, the support service helped an unexpected 280,000 people decide where to place their vote and, five years later, now aims to reach a whopping five million more before the 2015 elections.
Vote for Policies is an online survey that lets you compare the policies of the leading political parties, without telling you whose is whose. This means you can form an opinion based purely on the content of the policies, rather than on the personalities of the candidates or inevitable political spin. Essentially, Vote for Policies strips the process back to basics so we can vote for what we want, rather than for who we think we should.
Speaking about how the project is tackling the issue of voter apathy, Matt said: “People obviously really believe in Vote for Policies; so much so that they have put their hands in their pockets to back it for next year. And Crowdfunder has done more than raise funds – it has brought together our crowd. More than ever, I am convinced we can reach our target of five million people for the next election.”
So what can we expect to see? With increased exposure already, Vote for Policies will use the majority of the funding to create a mobile-friendly website and more robust infrastructure to handle the increased user numbers. Political parties not currently included in the survey; namely those from Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland, will also be incorporated. Finally, some of the money will be used for a digital marketing campaign to help reach the five million.
Vote for Policies has already received coverage in publications including Blue and Green Tomorrow and also from notable figures in the media:“It’s been just an awesome show of the power of the crowd. We even got a tweet from (Channel 4) television presenter Rick Edwards; this is especially meaningful because Rick recently gave a TEDxtalk on how to get young people to vote, highlighting the importance of online voting tools in that process.”
Phil Geraghty, Managing Director at Crowdfunder, said: “Vote for policies is a fantastic role model for all projects that want to make their great idea happen through Crowdfunder, it highlights just how many people want to change to the current political status quo. By reaching out to the crowd, this project has shown that the voting population really care about how the political system works and how it needs to be improved.”
Production of the website will begin in October and we can expect to see it live in January 2015, in time for the run-up to the general election in May. Vote for Policies is well on the way to transforming the UK voting scene and helping five million people select their vote.
Jessica Ratty is Brand Communications Manager at Crowdfunder @_jessification_ @CrowdfunderUK