How do I vote in the general election? How to register and what to do on election day

Verity Bowman
Millions of people will cast their votes – but here is what every voter should know first - PA

Here is everything you need to know about how to vote in the 2019 general election on Dec 12.

When is the 2019 UK general election?

The general election is on Dec 12 2019. The votes will choose a total of 650 people to become members of Parliament (MPs), who will decide how to proceed with Brexit.

Usually general elections are held every five years, but this will be the third since 2015. 

Who is eligible to vote?

Anyone aged 18 or over can vote, so long as they are registered and a British citizen or qualifying citizen of the Commonwealth or Republic of Ireland. 

How do I register to vote?

The deadline to register to vote is midnight on Tuesday Nov 26.  It takes less than five minutes to register by visiting GOV.UK

If you want to vote by post in the general election, apply by 5pm on Nov 26 to receive your postal voting pack. Your postal vote must then arrive at your Electoral Office in the UK by 10pm on Dec 12.

If you’re unable to vote in person you can ask someone to vote on your behalf. This is called a proxy vote. You need to apply by 5pm on Dec 4 to vote by proxy in the general election in England, Scotland or Wales.

You can find more information on postal votes and proxy votes here.

How do I find my local candidates?

To see who is standing in your part of the country, visit the Who Can I Vote For? website.

On the day, where do I go to vote?

You will receive a polling card before the election telling you where to vote. It will be a local polling station, set up in places such as school halls or churches. You can only vote at the polling station location on your card.

And how do I vote?

When you arrive at the polling station, give your name and address to the staff members inside. They will give you a ballot paper to select your candidate on. Fold the ballot paper in half and put it in the ballot box after making your choice. 

Do I need my polling card to vote?

The polling card is for your information only - you do not need to take it to the polling station and you can still vote if you have misplaced it. 

When are the polling stations open and when do they close?

Polling booths will be open between 7am and 10pm on 12 Dec. Counting of votes will begin when the polls close. 

What if I can't get to a polling station on the day?

If medical reasons or your occupation, service or employment means that you cannot go to the polling station, you can apply to vote by emergency proxy up until 5pm on polling day.