**Description: Vote for Policies is a non-profit, independent organisation with a mission to increase participation in elections, and make policies the focus of voting decisions.

The interactive, mobile friendly website allows individuals to compare policies, in the words of each of the main political parties, without knowing which party they belong to.

It has received funding from the Joseph Rowntree Reform Trust and over 900 crowd funders. In 2010 it had 550,000 users and has since updated its site to include policies from Scottish, Welsh and Northern Irish parties.

Founder, Matt Chocqueel-Mangan will take part in A.M.A. Here’s his story: https://voteforpolicies.org.uk/blog/why-i-set-up-vote-for-policies/

“I’ve gone from knowing next to nothing about politics to listening out for the latest policy announcements, so I can make sure the site is updated. Vote for Policies took me on this journey from political apathy to engagement, and I hope it will do the same for thousands of others.”

Website: https://voteforpolicies.org.uk/ **

My Proof:https://www.facebook.com/voteforpolicies/photos/a.608342545855430.1073741826.106026802753676/927778743911807/?type=1&theater

Hey all - thanks for all your interesting questions. Happy voting, and I hope the election goes well for you :-)

Comments: 42 • Responses: 11  • Date: 

RoundedRectangle11 karma

'Apathy to engagement' - to frustration when the realities of the broken voting system come clear.

How do you expect newly engaged voters to feel once the results come in? Do you think the site does enough to explain to voters about the electoral system's failings when the policies would have them aligning with parties that are very unlikely to win their constituency?

VoteForPolicies7 karma

We try to give voters as much information as possible, including results in their constituency so they can see what policies other people in their area prefer. The issues of tactical voting, if that's part of what you're asking about, is something people we try to offer an alternative to, but ultimately you could end up supporting the policies of a party that won't get in. It's down to personal preference I think - give your support to the party whose policies you prefer, or vote tactically to stop your worst case scenario. It has to be down to you, but the more information you have the better.

doom_halo7 karma

I always think the big flaw with these websites is that they only take into account specific pledges in the manifestos, which are often discarded after the election, while generally not taking into account the general ideological thinking of the parties. What do you think makes your site different from others such as whoshouldyouvotefor.com or isidewith.com?

VoteForPolicies10 karma

That's certainly true, but unlike those two sites (and the other quiz-based sites) Vote for Policies is the only place where you compare policies from the actual manifestos. We updated the policies when the manifestos came out to make sure we still had the top (up to) eight policy points, in their words and in the order they have them. But as for ideological thinking, that's what I'd really love to publish and compare! Sadly their broader vision isn't something political parties tend to publish...

ZebraShark6 karma

How would you respond to criticisms that Vote for Policies ignores personality, leadership and local politics?

VoteForPolicies12 karma

The premise of Vote for Policies is that personality is way too dominant in the political discussion, and we need to know what the policies are first before worrying about their personality. Policies are what matter, because they are the changes we're voting for. But that's not to say, if you support a party's policies, personality (and yes, particularly leadership) does count. It's just that policies should come first. Local politics? We're pulling data from the party manifestos, so it won't cover policies for your local area - it's something I'd like to do, but I guess at this stage we're just trying to make sure the national-level policies are clear before we vote for them. Do you think personality should be considered more or less than it is now in politics?

LazarouMonkeyTerror4 karma

What are the most interesting results from the surveys taken so far?

VoteForPolicies4 karma

Hi there. Probably the biggest surprise is how Labour policies are dominating. In the 2010 survey it was Green Party policies, but this time around Labour seem to be consistently more popular. A lot of people get a surprise when they take the survey though (over half by our research) - and it seems to be across the political spectrum and not limited to those who align with one particular party.

VoteForPolicies3 karma

We also just got hold of nationally representative data on policy popularity - not something we can claim to offer on Vote for Policies - and for Education and Health the most preferred policies were from Lib Dems and UKIP respectively. That's pretty interesting...

babyflowers4 karma

Have you asked the question on the survey if the 'surprising' results from many people may lead to them actually changing the way they vote, or if, despite the results they will still vote for who they always have done/were planning on before taking the survey? Just out of interest!

VoteForPolicies4 karma

Hi - yes, we do ask this question in an optional questionnaire that you can take after. 50% say they are planning on voting for a different party, though a national poll we did reported a figure of 20% for the same question. We'll be following up after the election to see if those people acted on their intentions too!

VoteForPolicies4 karma

Hey all - thanks for all your interesting questions. Happy voting, and I hope the election goes well for you :-)

axytl2 karma

Comparing policies in isolation seems troublesome to me. Let the Monster Raving Loony Party write a manifesto promising everything under the sun to everybody; free education, strong defence, generous foreign aid, many new hospitals, comprehensive welfare provision, huge tax cuts, jobs for all... And after listing nine such policies, the tenth, economic policy, is 'And pay for it all by just printing loads and loads and loads of money.' Oh, ho ho ho, the Loony Party, what cards.

Yet despite this being a joke manifesto, when presented blind, nine out of their ten policies will be very popular indeed. The tenth will be unpopular. But overall the Loony manifesto would rate very highly in a policy-by-policy survey. Loonies might promote their party this way: '60% of voters favour Loony policy in blind tests!'

Is there any way to control for this sort of thing?

VoteForPolicies3 karma

In some ways no, but we only include policies from parties who already have an MP (or a strong presence in national assembly) and enough candidates to have a reasonable chance of your being able to vote for them in your area. So there is a 'filter' there of sorts. But that's not to say that all of the policies in there now are all costed properly, or can be implemented within the time frame they say. My stance is that manifesto policies - good or bad - are also our route to greater accountability, so we need to start focussing on them. The fact that some manifestos are pretty rubbish isn't something we can ignore, and the best way to fix it is by scrutinising manifests more, not less.

iris2012 karma

I still don't see any option for Northern Ireland. Am I wrong?

VoteForPolicies3 karma

No, you're not wrong. We are in the process of getting them cleared by the parties. It's taken ages and been quite frustrating, but they'll be up there this week by hook or by crook!

PR0G0D1 karma

Does the website use up-to-date policies of all parties? e.g. UKIP's 2015 manifesto policies

VoteForPolicies4 karma

Sure does. We updated them with manifesto policies soon after they were released.

darkcommenter-5 karma

Hello, Which is the best party and why is it UKIP?

VoteForPolicies5 karma

Ha - I'm trying to help people make their own minds up about which party is best, but if you're a UKIP fan then you'll be interested to see the results from a national poll showed UKIP's policies on Health were most popular, and for Education they came second! https://voteforpolicies.org.uk/blog/national-poll-from-tns-reveals-most-popular-policies/