General Election: everything you need to know about polling day

Tomorrow (12 December), is the day the country will head to polling stations to vote for the new government. Maybe this is your first election, or maybe you just need a refresh on what happens on the day? Either way, we’re bringing you a rundown of everything you need to know about polling day for the 2019 General Election.

Currently, polls indicate that the Conservative Party, led by Boris Johnson, hold a 10 point lead over their closest competitors, the Labour Party, led by Jeremy Corbyn. If this is accurate, this means Boris Johnson will remain the Prime Minister, and the party will have achieved a majority government, meaning more than half of all MPs in the UK would be from the Tory party.

In Scotland, it’s a slightly different picture. The leading party is the Scottish National Party (SNP), holds 35 of the 59 Scottish seats, meaning they have 35 MPs in the UK parliament. The Conservatives hold 13 Scottish seats, Labour hold seven and the Liberal Democrats hold four.

If you’re unsure who to vote for tomorrow, take a look at our run down of each party’s manifesto, for more information.

WHAT IS VOTING?

It sounds like an obvious question, but if this is your first time voting in a General Election, it can be confusing – we know we are.

In a General Election, you are voting for your local MP. You will have a variety of different candidates to choose from, representing the different political parties, or candidates who are standing as an independent, meaning they aren’t associated with any party.

You should learn more about your local candidates and decide who you’d like to represent your local area (or constituency) in government. The winning candidate in each constituency becomes the area’s MP. The party with the most MPs makes up the government.

If there’s no clear majority (for example, if no party wins over half of the seats available) they can form a coalition government. This means two or more parties form the government, with the leader of the party with the most seats becoming Prime Minister.

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It is very very very important that every single person who reads this goes and registers to vote. The deadline is 23:59 tomorrow, the link is in my bio. Do not just scroll past, don’t sit there and think “my one little vote ain’t gonna do anything”—your vote is CRUCIAL. Your “one little vote” can quite literally tip the scale for what will be the most important election of our generation. Your “one little vote” means everything, there were millions of people who thought there “one little vote” didn’t mean shit and now Trump is the president of America and we are leaving the EU. So your vote really does count. I will be registering to vote and I will be voting for Jeremy Corbyn. There are several reasons as to why I’m voting for him – I would be here all day if I began to list them…but in my 26 years of life I have never trusted politicians or relied on them to be the bearers of hope and righteous people that we’ve needed them to be. And for me, he is the first man in a position of power who is committed to giving the power back to the people and helping those who need a helping hand from the government the most. I think Boris Johnson is a sinister man with a long record of lying and policies that have absolutely no regard for the people that our government should be committed to helping and empowering. I also believe it is criminally dangerous to give the most powerful role in the country to a man who has said that the sight of a “bunch of black kids” makes him “turn a hair”, compared women in burqas to letterboxes and referred to blacks people as “picaninnies” with “watermelon smiles”. I think it’s extremely dangerous to have a man with those views as the sole leader of our country. These are all MY views, I don’t care for your love or hate for them. I just think it’s important that we all register and go out and vote. And I think it’s important that we use our vote to make sure that the person who runs our country for the next 4 years is someone committed to doing what is right. GO OUT AND DO YOUR OWN RESEARCH AND TRY YOUR BEST TO LEARN AND UNDERSTAND WHO IT IS YOU’RE VOTING FOR. THE LINK TO REGISTER TO VOTE IS IN MY BIO. 💪🏿

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WHAT HAPPENS ON POLLING DAY?

You should, by now, have received your polling card if you’re registered to vote. If you haven’t received yours,  you should contact your local Electoral Registration Office (ERO), to find out what you can do. You can still vote if you don’t have a polling card, so make sure to contact your ERO for more information.

Tomorrow, unless you have opted to vote via proxy or a postal vote, you will head to your local polling station – these are often community centres or schools in your area. Your local polling station will be on your polling card, or again, contact your ERO to find out where it is.

Voting is very simple. When you arrive at your polling station, you will approach someone working there, to make sure you’re in the right place, and they will likely ask your name and address, to confirm your identity.

Then, you’ll be given a vote and directed to a voting booth, where you’ll be able to vote in private. On the voting card will be a list of all the candidates for your constituency. All you have to do is put an X in the box next to the person you want to vote for.

If you write anything else on your vote, it could be counted as a ‘spoiled’ vote and may not be counted.

Voting is an opportunity to have your voice heard and choose the government for the next five years. The government has an impact on everyday issues, such as the NHS, education, benefits, minimum wages, taxes and immigration, so voting is hugely important.

Lots of people around the world don’t have the right to vote, so it’s important to use your democratic right to vote and head to the polling station to have your say.

Plus, if you do head to the polling station tomorrow, you’re bound to see some cute furry friends, which makes a trip worth it, tbh.

If you’re still unsure about who to vote for tomorrow, head to Vote for Policies, to find out which party best aligns with your values.

Are you following Source on Twitter and Instagram? Make sure you do for all the latest updates.

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