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How to register to vote: general election 2019 application and deadline explained as snap vote in December looms

Boris Johnson finally looks set to force a snap election – here’s what you need to know about registering to vote if his latest bill passes

Tuesday, 29th October 2019, 11:44 am
Updated intense speculation around a potential general election Boris Johnson finally seems to have got his wish, after Labour agreed to back his latest proposals.

The proposed date for the election is 12 December, which would mean the first winter poll since 1923, although this could change slightly.

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If today’s bill does pass, as now seems overwhelmingly likely, and a general election is called, anybody hoping to have their say will have to register to vote first – here’s how it all works.

Electoral Registration Office. You’ll need your postcode.

If you live in Northern Ireland, contact the Electoral Office for Northern Ireland.

How do I register?

The quickest way to register is online. You will need you National Insurance number to hand.

If you’re a British citizen living abroad, and you want to vote in England, Scotland or Wales, you will need your passport, too.

Head to the Government’s registration page. The process should only take about five minutes.

Alternatively, you can register to vote by post. Either print off a form and send to your local Electoral Registration Office or ask the office to send the form on your behalf.

If and when an election date is announced, you might find you want to pick your MP by postal or proxy vote. Deadlines for these options would have to be announced.

Can anyone vote?

For a general election, you can vote if you are 18 or over (on the day of the election), a British, Irish or qualifying Commonwealth citizen and a resident at a British address. If you are a British citizen living abroad, you have to have been registered to vote in the UK in the last 15 years.

Note, the requirements are different for other types of election.

There are separate methods to register to vote if you are a Crown servant or British Council employee, or if you are a member of the armed forces.

Is there a deadline to register?