Everything you need to know

A General Election has been called for Thursday, July 4 across the UK. This will be your opportunity to have your say and cast your vote for the candidates which best represent your views and perspectives.

A General Election is to elect Members of Parliament to the House of Commons.

We’ve put together some FAQs to give you all the information you need, including explaining when you need to register by and how to vote.

We’ve also included some information about the new requirement to take photo ID with you to polling stations.

There are also some handy FAQs on the and you can also find out more about the General Election on the . 

 

What am I voting for in the General Election?

The General Election on July 4 is to elect Members of Parliament - or MPs - to the House of Commons.

The UK is divided into 650 areas, called constituencies, and each of these elects one MP to represent local residents at Westminster.

Most candidates represent a political party, but some stand as independents.

Who can vote?

You can vote in the General Election if you are:

  • Registered to vote
  • Aged 18 or over on the day of the election
  • Registered at an address in the UK or living abroad and registered as an overseas voter
  • A British, Irish or qualifying Commonwealth citizen
  • Not be legally excluded from voting

Read more on the .

Can I vote at home and university?

Unlike local elections, you can only vote once in UK Parliament elections.

MPs are elected using the First Past the Post system. You vote once for a candidate in your constituency and the candidate with the most votes becomes your MP.

How do I register to vote?

In order to vote in the General Election on July 4 you must be .

Don’t worry, it’s a really quick process and you only need to register once - not for every election. But you will need to register again if you’ve changed your name, address or nationality, since last registering.

You will need your  when registering so make sure you know what that is. You will find it on your most recent payslip if you are employed, or any tax/pension letters you have received.

When’s the deadline for registering

You must register by 11:59pm on June 18 2024 to vote on July 4.

Why should I vote?

It is an opportunity to make your voice heard and have a say on who represents you on issues that you care about.

It’s always a good idea to research the candidates for your area to ensure you know who will best represent you and the key issues you’re passionate about. 

You can

Who are the candidates in my local area?

After the deadline for nominations has passed, a list of the candidates who are standing - or 'Statement of Persons Nominated' - is usually posted on your local authority website and on local noticeboards where you live. At the 2024 general election, the deadline for nominations is Friday 7 June 2024.

You can find official election information for your area on the Electoral Commission website at:

You may also have already started to receive leaflets through your letter box for candidates. Do take time to read and research so that you can decide who best represents your views.

What do I need to take with me?

If you are on the electoral register you will be sent a polling card ahead of the elections, which will list your allocated polling station.

Polling stations will be open 7am-10pm on July 4.

Since May 2023, voters have to show a valid form of photo ID at polling stations to vote in person at a general election.

What if I don’t have photo ID?

If you don't have accepted photo ID, you can apply for a free voter ID document, which is known as a Voter Authority Certificate.

Find out more about and how to apply for a free

The deadline to apply for a voter authority certificate to use in the general election is 17:00 on Wednesday 26 June.

If you realise you do not have valid ID after this deadline, you can apply for an up until 17:00 on polling day.

Do I have to vote in person?

Anyone can apply for a .

If this is the case you must first register to vote online by June 18, and then complete and return your postal vote paperwork to your Electoral Office before June 19 at 5pm.

Can someone else vote on my behalf?

If you know that you won’t be able to get to the polling station on July 4, you can ask someone you trust to cast your vote for you. This is called a proxy vote and the person casting your vote is often referred to as your proxy.

The person voting on your behalf can either go to your polling station to cast your vote or can apply to vote for you by post.

The deadline to apply for a proxy vote for the July 4 elections is June 26 at 5pm.