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General election: How to register for postal or proxy vote

Country heading to polls for first winter election since 1923

Tom Parfitt
Tuesday 26 November 2019 10:50 GMT
General election: Registering people to vote in the street

The UK is preparing for a third general election in four years following Parliament’s decision to vote in favour of a snap poll on December 12.

The unusual timing – it will be the first December poll since 1923 – has raised fears that voter turnout could be lower than usual, due to cold weather and limited daylight.

Turnout among younger voters could also be affected, as university and college students will be moving back home for the festive period.

Those unable to vote in person on polling day may wish to consider postal voting or proxy voting.

Here is everything you need to know about how to have your say.

Who needs to register to vote?

If you have never voted, have moved constituency or have turned 18 recently then you will need to register, if you have not done so already.

Assuming you are eligible, you can register via The deadline for a vote in person is 11:59pm on November 26.

If you are not sure whether or not you are registered, you should check with your local electoral registration office.

How can I register for a postal vote?

You can apply to vote by post by downloading and completing this form.

The deadline is 5pm on November 26 if you live in England, Scotland or Wales. The deadline for voters in Northern Ireland was 5pm on November 21.

How can I register for a proxy vote?

If you cannot vote in person you can ask someone to vote on your behalf, via a proxy vote. That person must be aged over 18 and be registered to vote.

If you are based in England, Scotland or Wales, you can apply for a proxy vote here before 5pm on December 4. The deadline has already passed for those in Northern Ireland.

If an emergency means you cannot get to the polling station in person, you can apply for an emergency proxy up to 5pm on the day of the election.

What if I live overseas?

If you are a UK citizen living abroad, you can register as an overseas voter for up to 15 years after you left the country.

In order to be eligible, you must have been registered to vote in the UK within the last 15 years. You can also apply if you were too young to register when you left.

If you are serving in the armed forces abroad there is a special form you can fill out here, while Crown servants and British Council employees working abroad should apply here.

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