Everything you need to know about voting in the General Election

Essential reading

With the General Election imminent – here’s how you can get involved with the vote of a generation.

When is the General Election?

Thursday, June 8, 2017.

How do I vote?

Go to your local polling station on Election Day and cast your vote. Stations are open until 10pm. The location of your polling station will be on your polling card. But before you can vote, you need to be registered.

How do I register to vote?

If you’re 18 or over and have never voted before, you need to register to join the electoral register. To do so, you must have either your National Insurance number or passport details. If you don’t have a National Insurance number, call 0300 200 3500 to get it sent to you in 10 days. You can register to vote online at gov.uk. If you don’t register in time, you won’t be able to vote.

What is the deadline for registration?

Monday, May 22, 2017.

What if I’m away on June 8?

If you’re unable to make it to the polling station on the day of the vote, you can either vote via proxy (this means that a family member or friend you trust votes on your behalf) or by a postal vote. You must register for a postal vote before May 23, and proxy by May 31.

Where can I vote?

You can only vote in the constituency (area) where you’re registered. You can find your local polling station online at gov.uk.

Who am I voting for?

Your ballot paper will list every candidate standing for election in your local area. The candidate with the most votes will become your local MP and take a seat in the House of Commons. The party with the most MPs will win the election, and their leader will be Prime Minister. For more on who to vote for, see our guide to the party leaders.

When will the result be announced?

Counting begins as soon as the polls close. The results of the election gradually come in overnight as each area announces who has won their seat. By the early hours of the following day, we should have a winner.

That all seems pretty straight-forward

It is. Things get more complicated when you start talking about exit polls, hung parliaments, coalitions, tactical voting and psephology (nope, no idea either), but the most important thing at this stage is to make sure you register to vote. Do it as soon as you can – it might be the most important thing you do this year.