Tickbox was invented by a University of Exeter student - image courtesy of Shutterstock

Student entrepreneur hopes website will encourage more of us to vote

University of Exeter History student and entrepreneur, Matthew Morley believes that his platform can help to make politics easy and relevant to voters ahead of the General election.

In 2013 Matt invented ‘Tickbox’, an online platform that helps voters easily assess candidates and their policies during elections.  

The idea is simple, visit the site, answer a few questions and within one minute you can discover the party or parties most aligned with your values.  The platform can be adapted for any democratically elected participants and has already been used for the 2014 Scottish Referendum, the European Elections and by universities across the country for student union elections.

Tickbox used the platform to help voters decide upon candidates in the last University of Exeter Student Academic Affairs Board (SAAB) election.  Findings revealed that TickBox helped to increase turnout at the elections by 7%.

For the General Election, the Tickbox platform will feature the manifestos of all major and independent political parties from every constituency. It will allow users not only to compare one party’s politics with another but people will also be able to ask politicians specific questions anonymously. 

Matt commented:  “With only 44% of 16-24-year olds voting in the last General Election, all the research suggests that young people are increasingly detached from politics.  I developed Tickbox to try and make politics easier and more accessible, not only to young people but anyone who was potentially confused by what the different parties had to offer. If it also encourages more people to vote, that can only be good for democracy.”

The Tickbox concept is getting noticed.  Alistair Campbell, Former Director of Communication and Strategy at No 10 said: “Although young people are in the main passionate about political issues, too many of them are turned off by traditional party politics and also the mainstream media's relentless negativity about politics. TickBox is an excellent tool to help the digital generation understand, and choose, the policies that will shape their future. Because they are the future and they are also the generation to save political debate and progress in the UK.”

The Tickbox General Election platform goes live on 15 April.

Date: 15 April 2015

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