General Election Fever Hits The United Kingdom!
13th April 2015
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The United Kingdom general election of 2015 will be held on 7 May 2015, to elect the 56th Parliament of the United Kingdom.  In UK general elections, voting takes place in all parliamentary constituancies of the United Kingdom to elect Members of Parliamnet (MPs) to seats in the House of Commons, the lower house of the Parliament.

Each parliamentary constituency of the United Kingdom elects one MP to the House of Commons using the 'first past the post' system.  If one party obtains a majority of seats, then that party is entitled to form the Government.  If the election results in no single party having a majority, then there is a hung parliament.  In this case, the options for forming the Government are either a minority government or a coalition government.

This will be the first UK general election using individual rather than household voter registration.  The change in registration system has been accompanied by a drop of almost 1 million in the number of registered voters.  If you haven't registered to vote yet, there is still time, you can register online in five minutes at  If you haven't registered to vote you will not be able to vote on election day and you will not get to have your say about how our country should be and ultimately will be run!

Once registered you can then vote:

  • at a polling station
  • by post
  • by proxy (getting someone else to vote for you)

You can register to vote at 16, but you can’t vote until you’re 18.

In a UK parliamentary general election, registered voters in every area of the country vote for an MP to represent them in the House of Commons.  There are 650 geographical areas - these are called constituencies.

You can vote in a UK parliamentary general election if you’re registered to vote and:

  • aged 18 or over on polling day
  • a UK citizen, Commonwealth citizen or a citizen of the Irish Republic
  • not legally excluded from voting (eg because you’re in prison)

You can’t vote in a UK parliamentary general election if you are:

  • under 18
  • a member of the House of Lords
  • a European Union citizen (and not also a UK, Irish or Commonwealth citizen)
  • in prison (apart from remand prisoners)

When you register to vote your name and address will appear on the electoral register.  Your council will send you a poll card just before an election telling you where and when to vote.  Polling stations are open from 7am to 10pm on polling day, and are usually public buildings like schools or local halls.

You can take your polling card with you to the station to show who you are, but you don’t have to.  Give your name and address to the staff inside the polling station when you arrive.  You’ll be given a ballot paper containing a list of the people, parties or other options you can vote for.

  1. Take your ballot paper into a polling booth.

  2. Follow the instructions on the notices in the polling booth and on the top of the ballot paper to vote.

  3. Put it in the ballot box.

You can still vote even if you’ve lost your polling card.  If you haven’t received a polling card but think you should have done, contact the local Electoral Registration Office.

When voting by post, you should:

  • complete your ballot paper in secret
  • complete the postal voting statement
  • put the ballot and statement in the envelopes provided
  • seal the envelope yourself

Post your ballot back as quickly as possible to make sure it’s counted.

If you’re too late to post your ballot paper back, you can hand it in to your local Electoral Registration Office or bring it to your local polling station by 10pm on polling day.

You can only apply for a proxy vote under certain circumstances, including:

  • being abroad on election day
  • having a medical issue or disability
  • not being able to vote in person because of work or military service

You’ll need to give the reason why you’re applying for a proxy vote.  In most cases, you’ll need someone to sign your application form to confirm your reasons for wanting a proxy vote.  The application form will tell you who needs to sign it.  

Counting of the votes is expected to be finished on 8 May 2015.  Parliament is due to sit again on 18 May and will begin by electing or re-electing the Speaker. The Queen's Speech and State Opening are due on 27 May.

Have your say on how our country is run and use your vote!  Register to vote if you haven't already and research the party manifestos before you make your decision.  All parties offer different ways of doing things if they were to get into power.

Don't waste it, use it!

About the Author

Sarah E

Member since: 10th July 2012

I'm Sarah and I live just outside Barnstaple near Umberleigh.
I love sport especially rugby, cricket and golf and want to hear your thoughts on the site and add events and blogs on subjects that interest...

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