With Louise Mensch as my local MP in East Northamptonshire, I will shortly be invited to cast my vote on her replacement, due to her sudden resignation this week.
For many constituents the thought of making the time to visit the polling booth may not be considered important, and so no doubt many will decide simply not to bother.
However for myself and members of my family, voting on election day is not merely a vote for a prospective MP, it is also a vote of support for our great-grandmother's campaigning work a 100 years ago on the issue of women's rights.
Alice Hawkins, one of nine children and from a poor working class background, campaigned throughout her working life for women's rights. Initially within the shoe trade union and later as a member of the fledgling labour party, but at the age of 43 decided to take a more militant turn in her political life and join the suffragette movement in 1907. Tired by the male dominance of society of the day and impatient for change Alice was first arrested and imprisoned in 1907 for protesting outside the Houses of Parliament on the day of the State opening of Parliament.
Whilst 14 days in the harsh conditions of Holloway Jail might have put many people off their aims and ambitions in life, Alice was made of sterner stuff and, upon her release, travelled back to her home town of Leicester to form the local branch of the Women's Social and Political Union with the help of the Pankhurst sisters. It was for Alice to be a further seven years of militant campaigning, supported by her husband Alfred, before the First World War forced the issue of women and the vote to a stop. Suffering much hardship and brutality during those years, Alice never swayed from her aim in life of empowering women through democracy. Perhaps her resolve can be best summed up through the local WSPU branch motto emblazoned upon their marching banner 'always and always facing towards the light'.
And so, on election day in East Northamptonshire I will think of my great-grandmother and remember my mother's recollection of her granny Alice saying to her, "you must use your vote, we suffered for it" . Words from many years ago but still true today.
Check out my web site www.alicesuffragette.com.
Peter will be giving a free talk as part of the Ragged University season of talks at the Central Library, Edinburgh on Friday 17th August at 1pm.