The UK General Election 2024 - Here’s what you need to know

student voting next to a ballot box.
student voting next to a ballot box.
A general election will be held on Thursday 4 July and, given the large number of students in the UK, you can make your voice heard. Below is everything you need to know, from how to find out if you are eligible to vote, to what forms of ID are accepted at a polling station.

What is a general election?

UK general elections determine the composition of the House of Commons and, ultimately, the UK government.  

A general election is an opportunity for you to vote for your local Member of Parliament (MP). This person will represent the area you live in at the House of Commons for up to five years. There’s a choice of several candidates in each area and the candidate that receives the most votes becomes your MP. 

It’s important to vote for the MP that you want to represent you because MPs can propose new laws and raise issues that matter to you in the House of Commons. This includes asking government ministers questions about current issues including those which affect local constituents. 

You can find out who you can vote for here.  

Am I eligible to vote in the 2024 General Election?  

To vote in the election, you must:  
  • be a UK or Irish citizen,  
  • be a qualifying Commonwealth citizen living in the UK, and 
  • have your National Insurance number (found on payslips or your student loan documentation). 

Check if you are a qualifying Commonwealth citizen. 

Can international students vote? 

If you are an international student, you can vote depending on your nationality and citizenship - you might be surprised to find out that you are in fact eligible to vote in the UK. 

Check if you are eligible to vote here.  

How do I register to vote? 

The deadline to register to vote in person has now passed. 

How do I vote?  

There are three different ways you can vote: in person vote, postal vote and proxy vote. 

Voting in person: To vote in person, you’ll need to go to the polling station allocated to you on Thursday 4 July. This is based on your address on the electoral register. Your polling station will be on your poll card, which you’ll receive through the post a few weeks before polling day. The polling card will also let you know the time your polling station is open. 

You can find your local polling station here.  

You will also need to bring valid photo ID with you on the day. 

You can find a list of valid forms of ID here.  

If you do not have a valid form of ID, you can apply for a Voter Authority Certificate. The deadline for this is 5pm Wednesday 26 June 2024. 

Voting by post: If you aren’t able to get to your polling station on polling day you can vote by post. The deadline to register for a postal vote has now passed.

Voting by proxy: You can ask someone you trust to cast your vote for you if you’re not able to attend a polling station. This is called a proxy vote. If you nominate a proxy, the person you choose to vote on your behalf will need to show their own photo ID to cast your vote. They will not need to show your ID.  

Find out how to vote by proxy.  
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