Elections and referendums

To vote in UK elections and referendums you need to be on the electoral register. Find out how to register to vote, how you can take part in an election and what referendums have been held in the United Kingdom.

Registering to vote

You need to be on the electoral register in order to vote in UK elections and referendums. The electoral register is a list of names and addresses of everyone who is registered to vote in the UK.

Voting in an election

There are three different ways you can vote in the UK, in person at a polling station, by post or by proxy.

Standing for Parliament

If you are interested in standing as a candidate in the UK General Election you will first need to find out if you are eligible.

Referendums held in the UK

A referendum is a method of referring a question or set of questions to the entire electorate directly.

Referendum on electing MPs

The first UK-wide referendum since 1975 was held on 5 May 2011 on whether the system used to elect MPs to the House of Commons should be changed.

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Voting systems in the UK

Find out what voting systems are used to elect the House of Commons, Scottish Parliament, Welsh Assembly, Northern Ireland Assembly, European Parliament and local authorities in the UK.

For schools

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Living Heritage


Learn how the right to vote has been extended to different sectors of society over the years