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Older voters could decide the election, says Age UK

People aged over 55 will cast four out of every 10 votes and make up the majority in many marginal seats‚ according to new research launching new charity, Age UK.

Electoral power lies firmly in the hands of older voters, according to exclusive new research which reveals this group will be more influential in the 2010 General Election than ever before. The research shows people aged over 55 will cast four out of every 10 votes and make up the majority in many marginal seats.
Research conducted for our new charity Age UK by De Montfort University reveals the over-55s will account for the majority of votes cast in 319 constituencies across Britain.  Politicians cannot afford to ignore these numbers and our election campaign is urging older people to use their vote and ensure candidates engage with issues which are important to them.

Our Power is Our Number
Our ‘Our Power is Our Number’ campaign is asking older voters across England to put five key questions to their local election candidates to provide answers on the issues that matter most and in so doing earn their votes.

Local candidates will be asked to commit to 5 key election pledges to improve the lives of older people including:
* Reform of the failing social care system
* Improving pensions
* Axing ageism and ending forced retirement
* Making the NHS fit for later life
* Enabling older people to play a greater role in society

Our campaign kicked off with the unveiling of a mobile poster that started at Westminster and will travel to key destinations around London over the course of this week.  The image will act as a powerful visual reminder to MPs that people over 60 ‘matter’.

Age UK - the new force combining Age Concern England and Help the Aged
Our ‘Our Power Is Our Number’ general election campaign marks the launch of Age UK, the new force combining Age Concern England and Help the Aged following their merger last year.  Building on this strong heritage, Age UK will celebrate ageing and work to create opportunity in later life.  It will also fight and challenge disadvantage for older people.
Michelle Mitchell, Age UK Charity Director, said:
'Today marks a major milestone for us with the launch of Age UK and our election campaign. An ageing society presents tremendous opportunities that should rightly be celebrated, yet at the same time we have a big challenge ahead to improve the experience of later life for people now and for generations to come. Alongside climate change, population ageing is the greatest global transition we will face this century.
'Many older people and their families have experienced poor treatment from a crumbling, underfunded social care system which can’t cope with demand. Everyday people face age discrimination in employment, medical treatment and financial services, leaving them feeling worthless and shut out of society. And later life continues to be ignored when it comes to building communities and providing services, despite the huge demographic shift we are seeing.  
'The success of any party in this election depends on their commitment to act on the issues which are most important to older people who are more likely to vote than any other age group. Older people are fed up with second class services and we will support them to demand action from their local candidates on care, age discrimination, the NHS and pensions.'

Read more about Age UK

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