"I vote because I can.
If more of us vote, migrant women will become a powerful force."
WHO AM I VOTING FOR?
It depends where you live! On 4 May 2023, more than 8,000 seats are up for election in 230 councils across England, including in Liverpool and Cambridge. Among them, mayoral elections will take place in Bedford, Leicester, Mansfield and Middlesbrough.
Local elections will also happen in Northern Ireland on 18 May 2023 for 11 councils.
What about the rest of the UK?
Local elections are happening around the UK all the time.
By-elections happen when an elected representative steps down for any reason and triggers a new election for their seat to be occupied again. It’s worth following your local authority on social media to be up to date with any elections happening near you.
Official elections coming up in the future include:
May 2024: In May 2024, there will be more local elections around the UK, including elections for Mayor of London, Greater Manchester and Liverpool City Region.
May 2026: Elections for the Scottish Parliament (Holyrood) and Welsh Parliament (Senedd).
General Election: We don’t yet know when the next General Election for Members of Parliament will be. It must happen by January 2025 but the Government may call an election before that. To vote in General Elections, you must be British, Irish, or a Commonwealth citizen.
Open Source Guide to UK Elections
Would you like to learn more about voting rights, political systems, and elections in different parts of the UK? Check out the Open Source Guide - our comprehensive infographic resource designed to help you:
understand your rights as an EU citizen voter
learn how political structures in the UK work
feel empowered to use your vote to take a stance on issues you care about
WHY SHOULD I VOTE?
Voting in local elections is a way to shape local politics and ensure that you are represented by people closest to your views.
It is local politicians who are responsible for setting your council tax and allocating funds to transport, housing, parks and leisure, and your local environment. Local councillors are also there to support you with individual issues.
Registering to vote also has a positive effect on your credit score.
Remember, the foundation of every democratic system is participating in elections. Don't give up your right to vote!
"I vote because I believe in the political power of women, LGBTQ+ communities and migrants."
WHO CAN VOTE?
People at least 18 years of age (or 16 in Scotland and Wales)
To vote in local elections in Englandor Northern Ireland, you must also be one of the following types of citizens:
Citizen of the Republic of Ireland
Commonwealth citizen with permission to enter or stay in the UK, or who does not need permission
If you live in Scotland or Wales, you can vote if you are any of the above as well as:
Citizen of another country living in Scotland or Wales, who has permission to enter or stay in the UK, or who does not need permission
* Currently, ALL EU citizens can register and vote in all local elections.
However, EU citizens’ voting rights in the UK are changing as a consequence of the Elections Act which passed through Parliament in 2022. The Act states that EU citizens who arrived in the UK before 31 December 2020 will have the right to vote in local elections in England and Northern Ireland.
Those EU citizens who arrive in the UK from 1 January 2021 can only vote in local elections in England and Northern Ireland if their country of origin has secured a bilateral voting rights agreement with the UK.
Currently, only Poland, Luxembourg, Portugal and Spain have these agreements. These changes will not affect EU citizen’s voting rights in Scotland and Wales, as all foreign residents have the right to vote in these nations. These changes have not been implemented in practice yet.
Our Home Our Vote
If you believe every resident should have the right to vote no matter where they are from, learn more about Our Home Our Vote, a campaign by Migrant Democracy Project and POMOC:
Registration for this year’s elections ends at midnight on 17 April 2023.
If you are not certain that you are registered, you can contact your local electoral services team on the Electoral Commission's website.
If you are in doubt, you can also always register again. It is very important to register again if you have changed your address since the previous election.
Voting by post or proxy
Applications to vote by post must be sent by 17:00 on Tuesday, 18 April 2023.
The deadline to apply for a proxy vote is 17:00 on Tuesday, 24 April 2023.
Election Day is Thursday, 4 May 2023. Polling stations are open from 7:00 until 22:00.
"I vote because I can. If more of us vote, migrant women will become a powerful force."
HOW DO I REGISTER & VOTE?
Did you know that registration takes 5 minutes?
To register you need:
Your basic personal information: name, address, date of birth
Your National Insurance Number: if you don’t have a national insurance number, you can explain the reasons why and still register. For example: “I have recently arrived in the UK and do not have a national insurance number yet”.
Internet connection and five minutes of your time
Watch this instructional video for a step-by-step walkthrough:
Do I need a photo ID to vote?
YES! To vote in-person in this year’s elections (4 May 2023 onwards), you will need to take a photo ID with you to the polling station. This is a consequence of the Elections Act, and applies to elections in England, Northern Ireland, and for Police and Crime Commissioners in Wales.
Approved photo IDs you can bring to the polling station include:
Passport issued by the UK, EEA, or Commonwealth country
National Identity card issued by an EEA state
Driving licence issued by the UKo or an EEA state
Oyster 60+ card
PASS Card - Identity card bearing the Proof of Age Standards Scheme hologram
Biometric Immigration document
If you do not have an approved photo ID, you can contact your local authority to ask for a free Voter Authority Certificate.
Where do I vote on Election Day?
Polling stations are usually located in public buildings such as schools, recreation centers or churches. If you are unsure of where your polling station is located, contact your local electoral services office here.
ABOUT OUR CAMPAIGNS
We Vote (formerly known as She Votes) is a campaign aiming to organise Polish and Eastern European women and gender nonconforming people together as a powerful force in UK elections.
Our campaign hosts voter registration drives, meetings with local councillors, and debates with candidates, and also produces easy-to-read information on party platforms and issues.
To learn more, follow #WeVote or #SheVotes hashtags on our social channels:
We Vote was launched by POMOC and has been supported by countless other organisations and community groups.
Our Home Our Vote
The Our Home Our Vote campaign wants to see all residents in the UK have the right to vote.
In Scotland and Wales that is already the case. All residents, no matter where they are from, have a right to vote in local and devolved national elections. We want to see a residence-based voting rights model extended to England and Northern Ireland.
We are all equal residents. We all pay tax. We should all have a say.
If you are a resident with no right to vote, share your story with us. If you are a politician, you can also help the campaign by pledging your support.
Get in touch if you want to support the campaign:
Our Home Our Vote is a campaign run by Migrant Democracy Project and POMOC.