The Speaker
Saturday, 18 May 2024 – 11:08

The UK is heading to the polls on 12 December – here’s what you need to know

It has been confirmed that a general election will take place in the UK on Thursday 12 December 2019. Here’s what you need to know.


How Did We Get Here?

It’s been a pretty long road to get to this point – in fact, it took Boris Johnson four attempts to launch the country into an early general election. After failing to get support for his Brexit deal through Parliament, and with no government majority, the Prime Minister believed the only way to move forward was through a general election. However, opposition MPs either abstained or voted against the motions to hold a general election, meaning not enough votes were cast in favour of the proposals.

It would usually be considered unprecedented that opposition MPs would vote against holding an early election – it is, after all, a chance for them to get into government. However, MPs were concerned about the prospect of a no-deal Brexit and felt that they couldn’t trust Mr Johnson not to move the date of an election and/or push through a no-deal Brexit. On 28 November, it was confirmed that the EU had granted the UK a Brexit extension until January 31, 2020. On 29 November, the same day as the fourth vote for an election, the leader of the opposition, Jeremy Corbyn announced that he was satisfied that no-deal had been taken off the table and so Labour would back an early general election.

Parliament dissolves on 6 November, with the general election campaigns following.


What Is The Point Of A General Election?

A general election is your chance to have your say on who you want to represent your local area as an MP, and who you want to run the country.

In particular, this election is seen as a chance to break the Brexit deadlock – though there is no guarantee the result will achieve this.


Who Should I Vote For?

In this election, many people’s votes will be influenced by the policies of each party on how they say they will move forward with Brexit. However, there are also many other issues at stake – parties will pledge policies to tackle things like climate change, social issues, education etc. These pledges will be shared on social media, through posters and leaflets, online advertisements and in the party manifestos.

We can’t tell you who to vote for, but we will provide plenty of information in our election centre in order to allow you to make an informed decision.


Am I Entitled To Vote?

In order to vote at the election, you’ll need to be registered to vote.

To register to vote, you’ll need to be a UK citizen (or an Irish, EU or Commonwealth citizen with a permanent UK address). You must be at least 16 years old (or 14 years old in Scotland) to register to vote, but you’ll need to be at least 18 years old by the election day in order to vote.

You can find out how you can register to vote here – the deadline has now passed.


Why Should I Get Involved?

Politics truly impacts everyone, and it is impacting us more and more everyday. It’s vital that you have your say on not only your future but also the future of the next generation.

You can find many more reasons why you should get involved and vote here.


What Coverage Should I Expect?

At The Speaker, we believe that everyone should be able to understand politics and have their say. For this reason, we’ll be publishing lots of resources in our Election Centre in the run-up to the election, to update you with key policy announcements and to provide information on how to vote. We’re impartial, so we won’t try to influence who you vote for.

On election night, we’ll bring you key overage as the results come in, plus we’ll keep reporting after the election, so you know exactly what the results mean and what happens next.


Photo Credit: secretlondon123 [CC BY-SA 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons

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