Here’s how to vote in the UK's 2024 General Election, including eligibility, proxy voting and ID needed

Here’s how to exercise your democratic right in a few weeks’ time

Ed Cunningham
Written by
Ed Cunningham
News Editor, Time Out UK and Time Out London
Polling station in the UK
Photograph: Shutterstock

The next UK general election has been called and will take place on July 4 2024

Things will be a little different to the last general election. For one, it’ll mark the first time that photo ID will be required to vote in person at a general election (though photo ID was required at the May local elections). Some constituency boundaries have also changed since 2019. 

Whether you’re planning to exercise your democratic right in person or vote by post or proxy, here’s everything you need to know about voting in this summer’s general election. 

UK General Election 2024: date, odds and everything you need to know.
How to apply for a postal vote in the UK, including the 2024 general election registration deadline.
What time do polls open and how to find your local polling station for the 2024 General Election.

How to vote at the 2024 General Election in the UK

You can vote at the general election in several ways: in person, by post and by proxy. You can also vote from abroad, if you’re a British citizen but not in the UK. 

If you’re registered to vote, you’ll receive a polling card prior to election day. 

In person, you have to vote at the polling station stated on your polling card. Polling stations are open 7am to 10pm on polling day. 

At the polling station, you provide your name and address to staff inside the station, and show a valid form of photo ID. Follow instructions at the top of the ballot paper to vote. You are not required to bring your polling card.

You can find out more about voting in person here.

How to register to vote

In order to cast your vote on polling day, you need to have registered to vote beforehand. The deadline for this was June 18.

You can register to vote (ie get on the electoral register) through the official Government website here.

How do I vote by proxy?

To apply for a proxy vote, you must apply online beforehand. In England, Scotland or Wales, you need to do so six working days before election day, and in Northern Ireland you need to do so 14 day beforehand. 

You can only vote by proxy under certain circumstances, including: 

  • being away on polling day
  • being registered as an overseas voter
  • having a medical issue or disability
  • not being able to vote in person because of work or military service

Find out more on the Government website here

How many proxy votes can one person hold?

One person can proxy vote for up to two people.

However, you can proxy vote for up to four people if two of them are registered to vote from abroad. 

How do I vote by post?

If you’d like to vote by post, the deadline for registering is June 19. Once you’ve received your postal ballot, you then have to post it well before election day to ensure it arrives in time.

You can also drop a postal ballot directly to your local polling station before 10pm on polling day. 

If you’d like to vote by post, you need to apply for that in advance here

Find out more about voting by post on Time Out here

Who is eligible to vote?

In the UK, all British citizens and British Overseas Voters over the age of 18 can vote. Irish and qualifying Commonwealth citizens residing in the UK (and over the age of 18) can also vote.

Citizens of other countries and convicted prisoners cannot vote.

Can EU citizens vote in UK general elections?

EU citizens cannot vote in UK general elections, unless they’re citizens of the Republic of Ireland, Cyprus or Malta. 

What photo ID do I need to bring to vote?

This is the full list of valid options that can be used as photo ID. 

  • a UK or Northern Ireland photocard driving licence (full or provisional)
  • a driving licence issued by an EU country, Norway, Iceland, Liechtenstein, the Isle of Man or any of the Channel Islands
  • a UK passport
  • a passport issued by an EU country, Norway, Iceland, Liechtenstein or a Commonwealth country
  • a PASS card (National Proof of Age Standards Scheme)
  • a Blue Badge
  • a biometric residence permit (BRP)
  • a Defence Identity Card (MOD form 90)
  • a national identity card issued by the EU, Norway, Iceland or Liechtenstein
  • a Northern Ireland Electoral Identity Card
  • a Voter Authority Certificate
  • an Anonymous Elector’s Document

Where is my local polling station?

Your local polling station will be stated clearly on your polling card. 

What time do polling stations open?

Polling stations will open at 7am and close at 10pm on polling day. 

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