Below is a list of resources produced by churches and others for the general election. We have awarded a star rating to each based on how useful it is likely to be to readers trying to decide how to cast their votes. One star is poor. Five stars is excellent. This has been assessed in the context of each guide's own statement of its purpose. This page will also be updated during the general election campaign. If you have one you would like rated and listed here please email it to: office (at) ekklesia.co.uk
Christians and Candidates 2010 *
This initiative has been launched by Christian Concern For Our Nation (CCFON) with the support of the former Bishop of Rochester, Michael Nazir-Ali. It will involve a series of hustings aimed at Christian audiences. Its “Guide to the Issues” is based on a particular interpretation of Christian concern, with a strong emphasis on family and marriage, both of which are defined very narrowly. It refers to abortion, euthanasia and sexuality, with almost no reference to issues of poverty, peace, equality or the environment.
Demref 2010 ***
Demref aims to provide information on candidates' views on democratic reform. The organisers are putting the same questions to each candidate, concerning issues such as electoral systems and a democratic second chamber. Candidates answers are now being published, although many of them have yet to reply.
Evangelical Alliance general election briefing ***
The Evangelical Alliance has an extremely detailed section of its website devoted to summarising policies and parties and helping people engage with the election. It is very helpful in terms of information about the practicalities of voting and the UK's political systems. It also summaries approaches to a wide range of issues and offers both reflections and questions. The downside is that it focuses heavily on the the three most influential parties, rather than other parties or campaigns.
Faith and Politics ***
This briefing has been produced by Churches Together in Britain and Ireland (CTBI) and gives a good summary of the controversies behind many of the main issues in the election. Each issue is given an A4 page, which summarises key arguments. It is balanced and well-written, but pays little attention to theology or to questions that may arise from approaching the election from a specifically Christian viewpoint.
This very thorough website provides information on each party and is aiming to compile details on every candidate in each constituency (although some constituencies are not yet listed). It contains links to candidates' own websites. It also has a distinctive facility that allows readers to ask specific questions and candidates or parties to answer them.
Make the Cross Count **
Launched by CARE for the purpose of "Equipping the Church for the General Election", this site includes advice on hustings and a prayer guide for the duration of the election campaign. It also includes brief comments from Christians about what policies they would like to see from a new government. However, there is very little information about the issues and none about parties or candidates.
Muslim Vote 2010 ***
Launched by the Muslim Council of Britain (MCB), this site aims to equip Muslim voters to engage with the issues in the election. It provides information on how the election works, along with links to party manifestos and details about candidates. It gives limited information on the issues at stake but it does allow visitors to vote on which issues matters most to them.
NCPO Election Briefing ****
The Network of Christian Peace Organisations (NCPO) has produced a four-page briefing suggesting peace-related questions that Christians (and others) should put to candidates. It is based on a belief in active nonviolence, while always insisting that policies must offer realistic and nonviolent solutions to issues such as nuclear weapons, the arms trade, the war in Afghanistan and the nature of security. It therefore addresses many issues that most parties and commentators are overlooking.
Vote Global ****
This initiative is backed by a large number of NGOs, charities, faith groups and trades unions. It aims to “make the election work for the world's poor” by ensuring that issues such as international poverty, climate change, anti-corruption work and long-term security are on the election agenda. It suggests ways of putting these questions to candidates, as well as including a blog about the issues.
Vote Match ****
This site aims to help voters identify which party best matches their own views and concerns. It has been launched by Unlock Democracy, with help from academics at Goldsmith's, University of London. Voters answer a series of questions on their views, before stating which issues matter most to them and then being told how suited they are to each party.
Votewise Now **
The Jubilee Centre's book, Votewise Now, aims to “help Christians engage with the issues" from a "biblical" perspective. A fairly wide range of issues are discussed by different writers. However, there is at times a defensive concern to maintain Christian influence in society and the discussions contain few original ideas.
Your Next MP ****
This comprehensive website aims to provide information on every candidate in every constituency. It is possible to search by constituency, party, postcode or candidate. The site's organisers have gained more information on some candidates than on others, but there are also helpful links to candidates' websites and other information.