BASC's General Election campaign gives shooters the chance to lobby Parliamentary candidates to support shooting

BASC has launched its 2015 General Election campaign to highlight candidates’ views on shooting. Voters will be able to use an online system to search for their local candidates, see what their stance on shooting is, and email them to ask for their views.

The site — the only web-based lobbying platform dedicated solely to shooting — is open to BASC members and non-members and allows users to contact their potential MPs using a simple form to send a ready-drafted email.

The standard message includes facts and figures from the Value of Shooting report produced earlier this year by independent political and economic consultants PACEC, including the fact that shooting supports the equivalent of an estimated 74,000 full-time jobs in the UK, is worth £2billion a year to the UK economy (GVA), and is involved in the management of two-thirds of the UK’s rural land area. It also highlights the fact that the country’s shoot providers spend almost £250million a year on conservation.

The email asks candidates to state whether or not they support shooting and if they would be interested in joining an all-party Parliamentary group on shooting and conservation if one were set up. It also offers them a chance to find out more about shooting via BASC. Users can also add questions or information of their own to the email.

The website, which is similar to one used for this year’s European elections, went live on 12 November. BASC will collate responses received and make the information available for all to see online.

BASC is launching the campaign six months ahead of the election, which is scheduled for 7 May 2015, to give candidates and voters plenty of time to consider the issues and responses. The site will be updated on a weekly basis. The updates will add new candidates as they are confirmed in the run-up to voting and record responses received from hopefuls already listed.

BASC chairman Alan Jarrett said: “Every vote counts in an election, especially in times when hung Parliaments and coalition governments are possible. This website will allow us to make sure shooting’s voice is heard in Westminster. Candidates will be left in no doubt that shooting matters to their constituents and we will have a good indication of where MPs stand in the next Parliament.

“I would urge everyone to make sure they and their friends make use of the website as soon as possible.”

BASC chief executive Richard Ali said: “The General Election is just around the corner. In a matter of months BASC will be working with a new government and a new Parliament. This campaign site offers an essential tool to everyone who shoots.”

To access the website and contact your candidates, visit http://po.st/BASC2015.