How do I vote in General Election 2024 if I'm on holiday? - postal and proxy votes explained

Deckchairs and parasol
-Credit: (Image: Getty Images/RooM RF)


The general election has been confirmed to take place on July 4 this year, with millions up and down the country expected to head out to their local polling station and cast their votes.

However, with the election date falling shortly after Scottish schools break up for the summer holidays, you might be abroad and unable to vote in person this year.

But this doesn't mean you can't vote at all. There are certain procedures in place that allow people to vote either by post or through another person, meaning you can still have your say even if you aren't going to be in the country.

However, before you can even think about marking that ballot paper, you must make sure you're actually registered to vote. According to the Electoral Commission, the deadline for doing this is June 18, and you can check if you're registered by entering your postcode here and contacting your local council.

And if you haven't registered, you can do it online, or print out and fill in the registration forms before sending them to your local Electoral Registration Office.

Voting card
You can vote by post or by proxy in UK parliament elections -Credit:Getty Images

How can I vote if I'm on holiday?

If you are not going to be in the country on election day, or you can't make it to the polling station for any other reason, there are two different ways you can vote - via postal vote, or a proxy vote.

Applying for a postal vote

You can use this service if you're already registered to vote, and you'll need a few details such as your address, National Insurance number or other identification documents. You’ll also need to upload a photo of your handwritten signature in black ink on plain white paper.

After you've applied - and the deadline for this is 11.59pm on June 18 - you'll receive your postal vote pack in the mail.

When filling it out, it's really important that you fill in the postal voting statement, put the ballot and statement in the envelope provided and seal the envelope yourself. Then just pop it in a post box to send it back.

It needs to have arrived by 10pm on election day for your vote to be counted, so make sure to send it back as quick as you can.

Applying for a proxy vote

Another option is to vote by proxy, which is when you get someone else that you trust to go the polling station and vote for you. Make sure you have their permission first before you apply.

You'll need to give a reason when you apply online, according to the Electoral Commission. This may be because you’re going to be on holiday, away with work, or are unable to get to your polling station on polling day due to a disability.

If you can't apply online, you can use whichever of these forms you need to. The deadline for voting by proxy is 11.59pm on Tuesday June 18, and before polling day, your proxy will receive a proxy poll card telling them where and when to vote on your behalf.

They'll need to show their own photo ID when voting in the polling station on your behalf. If you miss the deadline then you still may be able to apply for an emergency proxy vote, and you have until 5pm on election day to do this.