In this year's general election, The Above and Beyond Party is campaigning on just one issue – the mandatory installment of a 'none of the above' option on all ballot papers for all UK general elections.
On the Above and Beyond website, the party states that their mission is to, if they won a seat in May, submit a private members bill to instigate the party's sole policy in the next Parliament. Alongside this, the party would set up a website where constituents could have their say on votes, and Above and Beyond MPs would vote in accordance with those wishes.See Also:
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However, if the goal of a 'none of the above' option on UK ballot papers was achieved, Above and Beyond MPs would resign their seats and the party would refocus "on highlighting the need for an economic and political system that makes long-term sustainability the number one priority".
For the general election the party has candidates standing in Cheadle, Clywd West, Ealing Central and Acton, Leeds North West, and Sheffield Central.
Thom Brown, standing in Sheffield Central, is targeting constituents who have not shown an interest in voting before, having been disillusioned by the current political system.
Brown said: "This constituency has shown a real trend towards progressive politics, often voting against the government, in favour of minor parties. I think this reflects the dissatisfaction that all people, although particularly the young, feel about the failures of politicians.
"Whilst there is often low turnout here, I want to encourage Sheffield residents to return to the polling stations and engage with the democracy that I know they care about. A none of the above option gives a chance for all those who want a more democratic and relevant political system to be heard by those in power."
Tom Ritchie, a student from Brighton, pointed out giving ballot papers this option may not be the best idea for voter engagement: "People can spoil their ballot if they feel disillusioned," he said.
"People will have an option to express their discontent but then really you're just exacerbating apathy."