Types of election, referendums, and who can vote

1. General Election

General Elections (elections to the UK Parliament) usually take place every 5 years.

To vote in a General Election you must:

  • be registered to vote
  • be 18 or over on the day of the election (‘polling day’)
  • be a British, Irish or qualifying Commonwealth citizen
  • be resident at an address in the UK (or a British citizen living abroad who has been registered to vote in the UK in the last 15 years)
  • not be legally excluded from voting

There are 650 Members of Parliament (MPs) in the UK Parliament.

MPs are elected using the First Past the Post system. You vote once for a candidate in your constituency and the candidate with the most votes becomes your MP.

You can find your local MP.

Read more about General Elections on The Electoral Commission website.