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The General Election will take place on 12 December 2019.
A general election was voted for by the current House of Commons on 29 October. This vote circumvented the Fixed Term Parliament Act 2011 that established a standard five year period before which another general election could be called. The Prime Minister (Boris Johnson) called for this general election in response to the current deadlock in the House of Commons over Brexit.
Who Can Vote in a General Election?
To vote in a general election you must be registered to vote and 18 or above on polling day. You must be a British citizen, a citizen of the Republic of Ireland, or a Commonwealth citizen who meets certain eligibility criteria. You must live in the UK, or be a British citizen abroad who has been registered to vote in the last 15 years.
How do you register to vote?
It takes about five minutes to register on the government's register to vote website, or you can register by post. You will need:
- your date of birth
- your address. Students can vote using their university or home address. It is legal to be registered in two areas, but a criminal offence to vote in both.
- your National Insurance number (but you can still register if you do not have one*).
As the 12 December is the second to last day of term at Newcastle University, to make sure you can vote you may want to register at both your home and University address so wherever you are on the 12 December you can vote.
If you are away from the country, for example on holiday, on Election Day can vote by post or proxy, which means nominating someone to cast a ballot for you. Your proxy must be a registered voter over the age of 18.
What is a General Election?
A general election is an opportunity for people in every part of the UK to choose their Member of Parliament. This person will represent a local area (constituency) in the House of Commons for up to five years or until the next election is called. Most MPs belong to a political parties and the political party that wins the most seats in the House of Commons at a general election usually forms the new government with the leader of this party becoming Prime Minister. However, if no political party wins more than 50% (325) of the available seats (650) then political parties may work together to form a coalition government (as the Conservative and Liberal Democrats did between 2010-2015).
Why are we having one?
A general election was voted for by the current House of Commons on 29 October. This vote superseded the Fixed Term Parliament Act of 2011 that created a standard five year period before another general election could be called.
This calling of an election was in response to the current political climate and the deadlock in the House of Commons over Brexit.
I have previously registered to vote. Do I need to register again?
If you have previously registered to vote, then you don’t need to register again if you want to vote in the same constituency. For example, if you previously registered at your home address, you don’t need to re-register to vote at your home address for the 2019 General Election.
However, if you previously registered to vote at your home address, but have moved addresses to come to Newcastle University and would like to vote in the constituency where your University address is based you would need to register again with your University address.
If your home address or term-time address has changed since you last registered to vote, you would also need to re-register with your new address.
You can check if you are registered to vote here in Newcastle by:
If you want to check if you are registered to vote at your home address, enter your postcode to find your local electoral registration office, and contact them directly.
Do you need your polling card to vote?
After registering to vote, your council will send you a polling card. That includes details, including the location of your polling station and when you can vote. Polling stations are usually in a hall or school, but if you're unsure where to go to vote, visit Where is my local polling station? Polling stations will be open 7-10pm on 12 December 2019.
You don't need to take this polling card with you to vote. Tell the polling clerks your name and address, and they will issue your ballot paper.
In England, Scotland and Wales, you don't need to take photo ID, however, if your home address is in Northern Ireland photo identification is required.