All you need to know about the 2019 General Election
- Credit: Ashley Pickering
The General Election of 2019 is now underway – but what is happening when, and how can I ensure my vote is counted on election night?
Parliament was formally dissolved at midnight on November 5/6. Until the votes are counted and the first results come in late on December 12 and early on December 13 we have no MPs in this country.
Ministers remain in their roles - although they are more likely to be touring the country than sitting at their desks in Whitehall over the next five weeks.
Returning officers have until 4pm on Monday, November 11, to formal publish a notice of election and candidates have until 4pm on Thursday, November 14 to be nominated or withdraw from the contest.
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Full lists of the names of those nominated have to be published by 4pm on Friday, November 15 at the latest.
You have until midnight on November 26 to register for a vote - although most people should be on the electoral register already. Polling cards are expected to drop through the letterboxes of those already registered to vote by the end of November.
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The deadline to apply for a new postal vote is also on November 26 - at 5pm.
The deadline to apply for a new proxy vote is on December 4 at 5pm.
Election day is December 12 when polling stations will be open from 7am to 10pm.
Where can I vote?
Your polling card will have the name and address of your polling station on it. In many cases this will be the same as usual - but there will be some changes this time around so check before setting out from home.
Some venues are unavailable because of Christmas events and most returning officers are trying to eliminate the use of temporary buildings wherever possible because they would be uncomfortable for staff to attend for 15 hours in the middle of December.
I'm going away for Christmas early - what can I do?
You can apply for a postal or proxy vote by the dates above - anyone can apply to vote by post.
If you do have a postal vote it would be a good idea to send it off as early as possible this time. This is the busiest time of the year for Royal Mail and while they will be working hard to ensure all post is delivered as soon as possible, it would be wise not to leave it until the last minute.
You can hand in postal votes to a polling station in your constituency on election day - but election officials would prefer they were returned to them before the day so they can be sorted and verified before the ballot boxes are opened.
Where will students vote?
Students can be registered both at their home address and at their student address - but they can only vote once.
Many universities and colleges - including the University of Suffolk and Suffolk New College - do not break up for Christmas until after the general election.
Will the weather be a factor?
We haven't had a December general election for nearly a century and the weather is bound to be a factor. A cold, snowy spell at the start of the month could have a major effect on turnout.
However most long-range weather forecasts from reputable organisations do not predict a particularly harsh spell - although that is still perfectly possible and politicians and election organisers will be hoping for mild conditions.