Home » How to vote in the 2024 U.K. General Election

Vote for change in the U.K. 2024 General Election
ImageL How to vote in the 2024 U.K. General Election with the words Vote for Change over the backdrop of a bricked wall.

How to vote in the 2024 U.K. General Election

There’s a general election happening here in the U.K. on Thursday 4th, July.

Over the past 14 years of Tory rule, the country has been a very challenging place for disabled people, some of which I have documented on this blog.

If you don’t follow politics, this post outlines how to vote in the 2024 U.K. General Election. There’s a lot of information to take in, so you might want to bookmark this page and come back to it as you go through the links.

Why do we have a general election?

The governing party is in charge of the policies and laws that govern life, business, health, and the economy. We, the people of the U.K., have a general election every five years to decide which party we want to have this responsibility.

You can vote for a member of parliament to represent the area you live in or constituency.

The candidate who gains the most votes on 4th July – will be elected the M.P. for your constituency.

A person puts themselves forward to stand as an M.P. to represent a particular political party, like Labour or Conservative or can run as an Independent in each constituency.

They campaign on a manifesto of pledges of how they will govern the country for the next five years.

You vote for the political party you feel reflects your beliefs and values or tactically, if you would prefer a particular party to oust the incumbent M.P. in your area if you are unhappy with them.

Register to Vote

You must be 18 years of age or over to vote in the U.K. I urge you to vote if you haven’t already.
If you still need to register to vote, it’s a relatively straightforward process. Here is the information and deadlines to ensure you are registered and have the relevant voter I.D. to be able to.
https://www.gov.uk/register-to-vote – you need to do this by 18th June at 11.59pm. You will need your National Insurance number for this process.

Vote by Post

Not all polling stations are created equal, and if yours is inaccessible, you can vote by post. The deadline is this Wednesday, 19th June, at 5 p.m.: https://www.gov.uk/how-to-vote/postal-voting.

Vote by Proxy – if your polling station is inaccessible

If you’d like someone to vote on your behalf – you can apply for a proxy vote by 26th June by 5pm. This method of voting is allowed if you have a medical issue or disability – or if you are away on the day of the election. You can register to vote by proxy here: https://www.gov.uk/how-to-vote/voting-by-proxy.

Voter ID Requirements

To vote in U.K. elections, you now need to show some form of I.D. to be able to. If you don’t have the relevant I.D., you can register here for a Voter ID certificate:
https://www.gov.uk/apply-for-photo-id-voter-authority-certificate . First, check if you have any of the accepted voter I.D.s here: https://www.gov.uk/how-to-vote/photo-id-youll-need.  You’ll need to do this by 5pm, 26th June 2024.

How to vote on Election Day

You should receive your polling card through the post, which will inform you of the polling station where you need to go to cast your vote.

You don’t need to take your polling card, but I always do just in case I need it as proof (it isn’t, but I always think it will add to your case in case of a problem). On the 4th July you need to visit your polling station to be able to cast your vote.

Once you’re at the desk, you’ll need to hand over your voter I.D. to prove your identity. The clerk will then hand you a voter slip listing the candidates running in your constituency.

You then walk over to the voter booth. There should be an accessible, lower booth for people with disabilities. If it is not visible, ask the election clerk to direct you to where it is.

Once in the booth, you write an X for the candidate you wish to vote for. Fold over the paper and then walk over and post the voter slip into the ballot box.

That’s it – you’ve exercised your democratic right to vote.

However, if you’re wondering who to vote for – read on…

Voting Tactically

I’m not going to urge you to vote for a particular political party – that’s for you to decide.
I would like to urge you to vote tactically to oust this dreadfully incompetent government we’ve had for over the past decade and a half, which has been mired in one controversy after another.

A party that will put the country and people first over the economic, divisive line that we have been fed for such a very long time now.

Here’s the website Get Voting: https://www.getvoting.org/tactical-voting/

This website lets you put your postcode into the search box and see who to vote for tactically in the area to remove the Conservative candidate or ensure that the opposition parties have a better chance of gaining a majority.

Party Political Manifestos

Regardless of where you stand on the political spectrum, it’s always worth reading about what the parties are promising in the election.

Each political party publishes a manifesto that it uses to campaign for its M.P. candidates to be elected at the general election.

You can read these below:

Be aware of propaganda – everywhere

While we are in the midst of the campaign period – you’ll hear all sorts of promises and pledges. It can be tricky to determine which are true or if the promise will be delivered. You might have candidates knocking at your door to persuade you to vote for them. You’ll see debates on T.V. and lots of information on websites and newspapers.

There is a certain amount of discernment needed. Some parties are aligned more to the Left of the political spectrum; others are Centrist or to the Right or Alt-Right.

For each paper, website, or meme you read or are sent, candidates, the parties, or the people who spread this information have their own agenda, and you have to read through the lines to see what they are really saying.

Be wary of those who promise the sunny uplands of yesteryear or blame particular minority groups for the country’s woes instead of holding the current government accountable for its mismanagement. They are usually preying on peoples’ fears and prejudices.

Look at what the political party’s record is (or isn’t), what they have delivered and where they stand on the NHS, your local services and for those of us living with Dwarfism, how they plan to (or not) protect and support those of us with disabilities.

Remember to Vote on Thursday 4th July

The last thing to do is put a reminder in your phone diary for Thursday, 4th July, to go and vote!

Here’s hoping for genuine, hopeful change for the U.K. from 5th July, hey…

Quick Links 

How to vote in the 2024 UK General Election
How to vote in the 2024 UK General Election with a list of deadline dates to register to vote, register for postal vote, proxy vote and the date and times the polling stations are open on 4th July 2024

Registering to vote

Political Party Manifestos

Voting tactically

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