Juan:'Are you going to vote in the election in two weeks?'
Peter:'Yes, I'm going to vote. Why do you ask?'
Juan:'It's the first election that has happened since I've lived in Britain. What happens in elections here?'
Peter:'Well, before the election all the different political parties each do a campaign. They do lots of events, meet voters in the street, pay for advertisements on the TV, radio etc...'
Juan:'They do campaigns to convince people to vote for them in the election?'
Peter:'Yeah. People from the different political parties also participate in debates normally on television before the election as well.'
Juan:'What are those?'
Peter:'A debate is where candidates from the different political parties appear together in front of the public and are asked questions and then criticise each other.'
Juan:'So, candidates is the name for the members of the political parties who want to serve in parliament or congress?'
Peter:'That's right. They are the people who are actually running for election, who people will vote for. The candidate who wins (gets the most votes) in the election, then gets a seat in parliament.'
Juan:'But some of the candidates in elections already have a seat in parliament, don't they?'
Peter:'Yes they do. If a political candidate currently has a seat in parliament, they are looking to be re-elected, to win their seat again. The other candidates who are competing against him or her obviously don't want that to happen.'
Juan:'How do the candidates know how well their campaigns are going before the election happens?'
Peter:'Before the the actual election happens, different organisations try to predict who will win or lose. They do this by asking a large number of voters who they intend to vote for. The is called a poll. And political parties use these polls to see how well or badly their campaign is going.'
Juan:'They do polls before elections in Spain as well. But what I don't understand is why there are two elections here this year. There's the election for the government in two weeks and then the election in November to decide if Britain stays or leaves the European Union?'
Peter:'But what is happening in November is not an election, it's a referendum.'
Juan:'What's the difference? People have to vote in both.'
Peter:'In an election, people vote for a political party to be in charge of the government or a council. In a referendum, people don't directly vote for a political party, but on an issue or proposal. Like should Britain be in the European Union or should guns be made illegal/banned in the country.'