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Types of election

There are different types of election in which you may be eligible to vote.


General election

In a Parliamentary election, also known as a general election, every area of the country votes for one Member of Parliament (MP) to represent them in the House of Commons.

What does Parliament do?

The UK Parliament represents the people of the United Kingdom and has the power to make decisions and pass laws on a wide range of issues that affect you.

Parliament debates major issues, considers European Union proposals and hears legal cases in the House of Lords amongst other duties.

Members of Parliament

In a general election you can vote for one candidate in your constituency, or seat, and the person with the most votes will become the Member of Parliament (MP) for that area.

The political party with the highest number of MPs in the House of Commons forms the government.

Local government elections

Local government elections are held once every 4 years for councillors to be elected for each of the divisions in the county.

The most recent county council election was held in May 2017 and the next one will be on 6 May 2021.

You'll need to contact your district or borough council if you need a proxy vote (you cannot attend on polling day and nominate someone to vote on your behalf) or a postal vote.

Other local government elections

Elections are also held for district, borough and city councils as well as parish and town councils. You can register to vote and find out more about elections by visiting the website of the council you are interested in.

How to vote

In most areas you will receive a polling card which tells you where to go and vote if you are doing so in person.

The polling station, usually in a nearby school or community centre, will be open from 7am to 10pm on polling day. You may only vote once.

If you are placing a postal vote or a have nominated a proxy please look at the information you have been sent.

Find out more about what you can vote for.