Our society thrives when we are better able to connect with each other and with the institutions that shape our lives. We believe that more equal representation and more effective accountability is the way to address the challenges of our time, and make Britain a better place to live for everyone. Yet 43% of the electorate – 24 million people – did not vote in the 2019 general election. This suggests that something is fundamentally adrift with democracy in the UK.

Our mission is to provide UK citizens with the tools and support they need to engage and actively participate in democracy. In 2021 we launched a new strategy based on our engagement model of DEEP Democracy. Over the next five years we intend to grow the organisation, broadening and deepening the reach of our work.

The work we do focuses on the issues of:

  • Under-representation (where certain groups are not engaged and therefore under-represented in the discourse)
  • Misrepresentation (where people do vote but are not necessarily clear about what different parties stand for, and therefore struggle to hold representatives to account).

Partnerships for insight, networks for scale

On its own, no single organisation can deliver this kind of change at this kind of scale. That's why, core to our plan, is partnering with organisations who represent specific voter groups, and enabling them and all others in their sector to use our tools and services on their own websites - as if they were their own. It's also through these partnerships that we will gain the insight necessary to build the right services, and continually improve them.

This approach is the only way we can expect to achieve the scale necessary to meet the challenge. It forces greater collaboration, and leverages the reach of existing networks of organisations who are supporting the most marginalised voter groups.

Goal and objectives

Our plans are ambitious, and recognise that investment is needed to take the Vote for Policies work to the next level. To create the change we want to see in the UK, we need to be able to:

  • Provide greater breadth and depth of information (in line with our DEEP model)
  • More actively promote our services
  • Build key partnerships to reach specific voter groups

Our strategy recognises that the change we seek is not a rapid process. Our long-term goal therefore looks to a ten-year horizon while our strategic objectives relate to what we plan to achieve within the next five years.

To improve representation and accountability in UK democracy by 2030

Indicators of success will include:

  1. Increase in turnout at elections (local and national).
  2. Increase in turnout and engagement within key groups that are currently under-represented.
  3. Increase in engagement with policy debate among people who do vote

Increase democratic engagement among 3-5 key groups currently under-represented in the democratic process by 2025

Indicators of success will include:

  1. Uplift from baseline participation among targeted groups
  2. Uplift from baseline turnout among targeted groups
  3. Uplift in discussion of issues facing these groups in public policy debate

Improve the level of engagement with policy debate among people who do vote, reaching 15% of the electorate with our services by 2025.

Indicators of success will include:

  1. Uplift in number of people using information services such as election survey and manifesto tracker
  2. Uplift in community engagement in holding representatives to account
  3. Increase in public policy discussion and debate in public/ community/ social media forums

If you'd like to know more about our work or provide feedback on our approach, please get in touch.