Countdown to polling day

Countdown to polling day
23 April 2015

On Thursday 7 May 2015, people in every part of the UK will have the opportunity to choose their MP, the person who will represent their local area in the House of Commons in the next Parliament.

Have your say by casting your vote

There is normally a choice of several candidates seeking election in each constituency. People can vote for only one of the candidates and the candidate that receives the most votes becomes their Member of Parliament.

Which candidate you vote for is up to you.

Nationally the results also determine who forms the new government.

You must be on the electoral register

If you want to vote on 7 May, you must be on the electoral register. The deadline for registering in time to be able to vote in the general election was Monday 20 April 2015. If you are not on the register, you will not be able to vote.

The different ways to vote

There are three ways you can vote. They are:

  • voting in person - most people visit a polling station on the day of a general election to place their vote. Polling stations will be open between 7am and 10pm on polling day (7 May).
  • voting by post - anyone aged over 18 can apply for a postal vote if they are on the electoral register. The deadline for applying for a new postal vote was Tuesday 21 April 2015. In Northern Ireland the deadline was Thursday 16 April 2015.
  • voting by proxy - if you are not able to get to a polling station, a proxy vote allows you to choose someone you trust to vote on your behalf. The deadline for proxy vote applications was Tuesday 28 April 2015.

More information about voting in person, applying for a postal vote or a proxy vote, is available online.

After the general election

Counting of votes will begin when the polls close at 10pm on 7 May. Election results are widely reported in the local and national media, with many providing rolling coverage of the results as they are announced.

The new Parliament will meet on Monday 18 May 2015 when the business in the House of Commons will be the election of the Commons Speaker and the swearing-in of Members.

The State Opening of Parliament will follow on Wednesday 27 May 2015.

Image: PA/Alan Simpson

This article was produced by the Commons Digital Outreach Team. Follow the @HouseofCommons on Twitter for updates on the UK House of Commons Chamber.

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