On Thursday 12 December 2019, there will be a General Election across the whole of the UK.

You must be registered to vote by Tuesday 26th November 2019 at midnight.

The deadline for applying for a postal vote is Tuesday 26th November 2019 at 5pm.

Who can vote in a General Election?

Not everyone living in the UK is allowed to vote in a general election.

To vote in an UK general election, a person must be registered to vote and also:

  • 18 years old or over
  • Be a British citizen, a qualifying Commonwealth citizen, or a citizen of the Republic of Ireland;
  • Not be subject to any legal incapacity to vote.

Who counts as a qualifying Commonwealth citizen?

A qualifying Commonwealth citizen is a citizen of one of the countries listed below who has leave to remain in the UK or does not require leave to remain in the UK. Any type of leave to remain is acceptable: whether indefinite, time-limited or conditional. If you are unsure, visit Citizen UK’s handy Can I Vote website.

Can people with refugee protection vote in a General Election?

People with refugee status or indefinite leave to remain can only vote in a general election if they are a citizen of one of the Commonwealth countries listed above.

Otherwise, refugees are only eligible to vote in all elections in the UK once they have British citizenship.

If you are unsure of whether you are allowed to vote, speak to our team. We can also help you to register to vote if you are eligible.

Are you voting for the first time this General Election? We’d love to hear from you

Can people who are seeking asylum vote in the General Election?

People seeking asylum are not allowed to vote in a general election, even if they are a citizen of one of the listed Commonwealth countries. This is because they are not considered to have leave to remain in the UK.

How can I make my voice heard if I cannot vote?

Even if you cannot vote, there are plenty of ways you can be involved in the upcoming election. Elections are a good opportunity to raise issues that matter to you and your community with candidates at hustings or even on the doorstep. If you support a particular political party, you can even get involved in campaigning in your local community.

Check out Promote the Migrant Vote for more ideas on how to get involved. If you are a community group looking to run a voter registration drive, they can provide you with resources and information to make your event a success.


Our policy team has created a basic guide to who is able to vote in a general election and how people can register to vote. You can download the guide here.

Author: Chris Afuakwah