With MPs voting to call an election on 12 December, there’s still time to make sure your voice is heard.
In order to vote in this general election you must be registered by at least Monday 26 November.
Who is eligible to vote in a general election?
To vote in a UK general election you must:
- Be 18 or over on the day of the election.
- Be a British, Irish or qualifying Commonwealth citizen.
- Be resident at an address in the UK (or a British citizen living abroad who has been registered to vote in the UK in the last 15 years).
- Not be legally excluded from voting.
You also need to be on the electoral register. You only have to register once, but will need to re-register if you have changed your address, name or nationality since you first registered.
The forms can be completed online. You may need details of your national insurance number and your passport if you’re a British citizen living abroad, and want to vote in England, Scotland or Wales.
If you need help, you should contact your local Electoral Registration Office. You can use this service to find the address if you live in England, Scotland or Wales. If you live in Northern Ireland you need to contact the Electoral Office for Northern Ireland (EONI).
What's different for students?
As a student you can register to vote at both your home and term-time addresses, but remember that in a general election it is illegal to vote more than once.
One further complication is that Thursday 12 December is close to when term finishes (13th December), so you might already have travelled home. But there is nothing stopping you applying for a postal vote in your university constituency if you want to vote there.
Further inof on the Electoral Commission site
What do I do if I can’t vote in person on 12 December?
There are two ways to vote if you can’t be there to vote in person on the day of an election – with either a postal vote or a proxy vote. To apply for a postal or proxy vote you must already be registered to vote and on the electoral roll.
Voting by proxy
A proxy vote means someone can vote on your behalf. Anyone can act as your proxy provided they’re registered to vote and allowed to vote in the same type of election.
Usually, you need to apply for a proxy vote at least six working days before election day if you want to vote in England, Scotland or Wales – ie before 5 December. There are different forms to fill in depending on the reason you want the proxy vote, which can be:
- You’ll be away.
- You’ll be at work.
- You’ll be attending a course.
- You’re disabled.
- You’re living overseas.
- You’re serving overseas as a member of the armed forces.
- You’re a British Council employee or Crown servant (for example diplomatic or overseas civil service).
There’s a different form to apply to vote by proxy in Northern Ireland and you need to apply at least 14 working days before election day – ie before 21 November.
Voting by post
Anyone registered to vote in an election can apply for a postal vote. You don’t need to give a reason. If you live in England, Scotland or Wales you need to fill in this form and then send it to your local Electoral Registration Office. If you want to vote by post in Northern Ireland, you need to follow the instructions here from the Electoral Office for Northern Ireland.
How can I be sure if I am registered to vote?
If you have any doubts that you are registered to vote, you should contact your local Electoral Registration Office. You can use this service to find the address if you live in England, Scotland or Wales. If you live in Northern Ireland you need to contact the Electoral Office for Northern Ireland (EONI).