Student using phone

Get General Election ready!

Everything you need to know ahead of July 4th's General Election

Ballot papers into a voting box


Register to vote in UK General Election before midnight Tuesday 18th June.

A General Election has been announced for Thursday 4th July, here's the key information to get you ready to vote.


What is a general election?

A general election elects Members of Parliament - or MP's - to the House of Commons.

The UK is divided into 650 areas (aka constituencies) and each elects one MP to represent them at Westminster. If a party has an overall majority (326 elected MP's) then the leader of that party becomes Prime Minister and forms a government.

If the party with the most seats has less than 326 MPs, they do not have an overall majority. This is called a hung parliament and multiple parties will try to work together to make a Government.


Registering to vote

You need to be registered before you are allowed to vote in elections. The last day to complete your registration to vote was 11:59pm on Tuesday 18th June.

If you didn't register to vote by then, you will not be able to vote in the General Election on July 4th. 

You can only vote at addresses you are registered at. If you previously registered to vote at your term-time address, but won't be there on July 4th, there's more information about ways your voice can still be heard.


I'm away on July 4th, can I vote?

Yes, you can apply to vote by post or by proxy. If you're away from your registered address, you can apply for a postal vote - the deadline to apply is Wednesday 19th June, at 5pm. 

Apply for postal vote


Voting by 'proxy' is when you get someone else to vote on your behalf, if you cannot vote in person. The deadline to apply is Wednesday 26th June, at 5pm. To apply you will need provide the contact details of your proxy, including where they are registered.


I’ve moved house recently, do I have to register to vote again?

Students change address more than most people, so it’s important that you double check where you are registered to vote.

You have to register to vote every time you change address, name or nationality.


Can I be registered to vote at more than one address?

Students are allowed to register to vote at more than one address if they consider both places to be a permanent home. This could be their family home and term-time address, for example.

The 2024 General Election has been called at a time when most students will not be in their student accommodation so it's important to make sure you're registered to vote at the address you'll be at on July 4th.

Even though you can be registered at more than one address, it is illegal to vote in two places - so you have to choose which address to vote at.


I'm an international student. Can I vote?

Some can, but it depends on the country you're from - click the link below to find out. You can use your biometric residence permit (BRP) as valid ID at polling stations.

Can I vote? Check here


I think I'm already registered to vote...? 

To find out if you're already registered, you need to contact the electoral services team at your local council. If you registered and received a poll card for May's local elections, you will already be registered at that address.

Contact your local council


What do I do on election day?

  • Before July 4th, you will be sent the location of your polling station on your poll card. You do not need to take your poll card with you

  • Voters will need to vote for the preferred candidate to represent their constituency

  • Polling stations will be open from 7am to 10pm. If you're not in the queue to vote at 10pm you'll be turned away.

  • Remember to take your ID with you

New laws mean you now have to show photo ID to vote at polling stations in General Elections in the UK. You can find a full list of accepted voter IDs in each UK nation via the Electoral Commission.

NUS have teamed up with CitizenCard to offer a FREE Voter ID (usually £18) to any student or young person who needs it.

Get a free CitizenCard


How does voting impact me?

1. Decide who represents issues in your area

Voting is your chance to elect candidates into positions to shape policy and allocate funding in your local area. You vote decides who will make decisions on the issues you care about.

2. Get politicians working for young people!

Students account for approximately 80,000+ people in Birmingham, if all eligible students cast their votes, candidates are likely to tailor their manifestos to students' needs in future elections. 

3. It can improve your credit score

Being registered to vote can improve your credit score, because banks and other lenders often use the Electoral Roll to help verify your identity. This could help when it comes to things like taking out a mobile phone contract, especially if you do not have a long credit history. It could also help if you’re looking to buy a car, rent, or even secure a mortgage.


Ready to vote and want to find out more?

See who's running as an MP in your area and read their manifestos 

Who can I vote for?

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