All you need to know about the General Election 2024

The General Election is on 4 July, and we're here to help you get ready. Not sure if you can vote, what ID you need, or who to vote for? Read our tips.

2029 seems like a long way away, doesn't it? The winners of this election will make decisions and decide on policy in this country for that entire time, so it's important to utilise your vote and make sure changes are decided by the politicians you want. 

We're here to give you the rundown of how to prepare for a General Election, what you need to do to register, what voter ID you'll need and even some handy tips on how to decide who to vote for.

Election checklist. Have you...
? Checked if you're eligible to vote
? Registered to vote at your home and/or university address by 18 June
? Applied for a postal vote by 19 June if you need one

? Checked you have the right voter ID and if not, applied for some (for free!)
? Checked where your polling station is
? Voted on 4 July

Register to vote here

But why is it important to vote???
  • Care about something? The MPs you elect will help make decisions on issues that are important to you. Education, healthcare, housing... they can help with all that.
  • Rep young adults and get politicians working for you. In the last general election, 74% of over 65s turned up to vote, but only 47% of 18-24 year olds did. Change that and help change key policies in favour of younger people.
  • Think it's pointless because the candidate in your area probably won't win? That's okay, showing up and voting for them anyway could make a massive difference. There were 15.5 million non-voters in the last general election. If all those people went out to vote the outcome would be very different.
  • Democracy has been fought for by many groups of people in the past, including the suffragettes. In 1819 only 3-4% of the male population could vote. In 1918, women won the right to vote. Don't take it for granted!
  • MPs who you vote for help issues in your local area too, so if you want the place where you live to be nice, then it's important to vote.
  • Don't like any candidates? Still turn up and make it known through a spoilt ballot. Leave it blank or put a "X" outside a box. These are still counted and read during the results, proving to politicians that there is resentment and they need to change.

But can I even vote?

If you've never voted before and especially if you're an international or duel nationality student, it can be hard to know if you're able to vote. If you're over 16 and a British or Irish citizen, you can vote. Did you know, many students from Commonwealth countries are able to vote in the general election too. Hooray! There are ways online to check if your legible.

Take this quick quiz to see if you can!
Not sure who to vote for?

Isidewith.com have a super helpful online quiz where you rank the things important to you. It takes about 10 minutes, and after you've finished, the parties you align with will be shown in some easy to read results. Very handy!

Take the quiz

Registering to vote

You must be registered to vote in order to take part in the election. You can do this online and it takes about 3 minutes! You'll be asked for your date of birth, name and address and your National Insurance Number (don't worry, you can still register without one). As a student, you can register at both your home and university address but can only vote in one place.

Register to vote here
Voter ID

Voters in England now need to show an accepted form of ID at polling stations on vote day. You can find a list of all accepted forms of ID here. Don't have ID? No worries. You can apply for a free Voter Authority Certificate online after you've registered to vote, or NUS are giving away FREE voter ID too.

Apply for a Voter Authority Certificate
Get FREE voter ID from NUS

Voting on the day!

You can vote in person at your local polling station from 7am-10pm on 4 July. Find yours here and don't forget your ID! If you can't make it on the day, apply for a postal vote by 5pm on 19 June, or if you miss that deadline, you can send a trusted person to vote on your behalf. This is called a Proxy vote and you must apply by 5pm on 26 June.

Apply for a postal vote
Apply for a proxy vote

Event of the Week - Need to know more before you vote? Come and watch the first all party debate live with us!

It's time for the first all party debate of this General Election campaign. Join us to watch the ITV General Election Debate live with other students. Dish the dirt on your favourite candidates, heckle the ones who struggle to answer a question and cheer for the good guys. Food will be served in The Griff before the debate until 8:30pm.

Find out more
 

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