General Election

The UK General Election takes place on 4th July 2024. Here's everything you need to know about registering and voting. Make your student voice heard by turning up!
The UK General Election takes place on 4th July 2024. Here's everything you need to know about registering and voting. Make your student voice heard by turning up!

A UK general election has been called for 4th July 2024. Join students all over the UK in making your voice heard by registering and voting in the election. If this is your first time voting, we've gathered some information to help you with registering and figuring out who to vote for.

How does the electoral system work in the UK?

The UK use a First Past the Post system which means that you vote once for the Member of Parliament (MP) for your constituency (area) and the candidate with the most votes becomes your MP.

The party with the most elected MPs take the majority in parliament and their party leader becomes the Prime Minister.

What can I do right now? (or the TL;DR)

Key dates

18th June – Deadline for voter registration

19th June – Deadline for postal vote application

20th June – Last day to get your FREE photo ID from Citizen Card (with code ‘NUS’)

26th June – Deadline to apply for vote by proxy

4th July – Polling Day (Go vote!)

17th July – State opening of new parliament

Can I vote?

To vote in a general election you must:

  • Be registered to vote Be 18 or over on polling day (4th July 2024)
  • Be a British, Irish or qualifying Commonwealth citizen
  • Live at an address in the UK or be registered as an overseas voter
  • Not be legally excluded from voting

Things you need for voting

To vote in the General Election, you need to make sure you register to vote and that you have valid photo ID.

How to register to vote

Registering to vote takes around 5 minutes, you need to go to the Government website.

Find your National Insurance Number before you register – this will be on your payslip if you have a part-time job.

If you don’t know your National Insurance Number, there are alternative ways to prove your identity.

How to get valid photo ID

Valid photo ID includes a passport or driver’s license. You can also get a free Citizen Card using the code ‘NUS’ at check out.

If your photo ID looks like you, you can use it for voting, meaning you can use an expired passport if needed.

How to apply for a postal vote

Before you apply for a postal vote, you need to register to vote in the UK. Once registered, you can apply online or by post for a postal vote. You need to go to the government website and select apply for a postal vote.

To apply for a postal vote, you will need:

  • The address where you are registered to vote
  • Your National Insurance Number or other identity documents, such as a passport or utility bill
  • The specific date of the election that you want to vote in – for the General Election, this is 4th July 2024
  • A picture of your handwritten signature in black pen on white paper

General Election FAQs

Who should I vote for?

We can’t tell you who to vote for. You need to make that decision for yourself!

The person you vote for will be your Member of Parliament (MP) for four years so choose someone who you think will achieve the things that you want to see.

Where can I vote?

There will be polling stations in your constituency on polling day (4th July). You can only vote at the polling station listed on your poll card, make sure you check the card and know where you need to go.

Find out where to vote using your polling card, online resources, or by contacting your local council. If you're not sure, contact The SU and we can help!

I’m an International student, can I vote?

You may be able vote in the general election. You can check your eligibility on the Electoral Commission website or visit us at The SU and we can help you check.

I can’t get to a polling station on election day, what should I do?

No worries if you’re taking a holiday or simply not able to get to the polling station on the day of the election. You can apply for a postal vote or a vote by proxy.

A postal vote means you will be able to send your vote through the post. You have to apply for a postal vote by 19th June.

A vote by proxy means you can ask someone to vote on your behalf. You can only apply for a vote by proxy under certain circumstances. You have to apply for a vote by proxy by 26th June.

I’m living abroad right now, can I vote?

Yes, if you fit the criteria to be eligible to vote in the general election (listed above), you need to register as an overseas voter. This allows you to apply for a postal vote or a vote by proxy.

General Election - Get ready to Vote!
The SU, Penryn Campus
Join students all over the UK in making your voice heard and vote in the election!
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