Voting for all

7 & 8 February 2018

Year 10 students of Wellington College and Aquinas Diocesan Grammar School came together on a study visit to the Northern Ireland Assembly to mark the centenary of the Representation of the People Act 1918.

Students travelled through time to 1918 to consider life against a background of the Great War across the world and the changes to the voting franchise at home.

The pupils held an impromptu election, stumping for various issues such as an end to the war, a reduction in poverty and a drive to increase wages. The electioneering was disrupted by some spirited suffragettes who took over the platform to carry their message of “Votes for Women”.

The sweeping changes that the Representation of the People Act 1918 brought in giving so many more people the vote was considered and the fact that there was still more change to come to be truly inclusive.

Virginia McVea, Chief Electoral officer for Northern Ireland, spent time with the young people discussing the importance of registering to vote in the future.