Voting by proxy

On this page you will find out how to cast your vote by proxy at a UK election or referendum.

Voting by proxy means that you appoint someone you trust to vote on your behalf.

Voting by proxy can be useful if you can't get to the polling station on election day, for example if you fall ill or you are abroad.

It can be particularly useful if you are overseas in a country too far away to send back a postal vote in time for the election (for instance, if you are deployed overseas in the Armed Forces).


Applying to vote by proxy

If you haven’t already arranged to vote by proxy in elections in England, Scotland or Wales, you will need to apply by 5pm on Wednesday 15 June to vote by proxy in the EU referendum

There are different forms depending on your personal circumstances.

View proxy vote application forms

In addition, the person you wish to appoint as your proxy can only act as proxy if they are (or will be) registered individually.

Northern Ireland

To apply to vote by post or by proxy at the EU referendum in Northern Ireland,  you will need to complete an application form and send it to your local area electoral office to arrive by 5pm on 3 June 2016.

Visit the Electoral Office for Northern Ireland website to download the correct form.


Can I apply for a proxy vote?

Anyone who is individually registered can apply for a proxy vote.

When you apply for a proxy vote you must provide a reason. You can apply for a proxy vote if:

  • you are unable to go to the polling station for one particular election, for example, if you are away on holiday
  • you have a physical condition that means you cannot go to the polling station on election day
  • your employment means that you cannot go to the polling station on election day
  • your attendance on an educational course means that you cannot go to the polling station on election day
  • you are a British citizen living overseas
  • you are a crown servant or a member of Her Majesty's Armed Forces

You may have to get someone to support your application to confirm that your reason for applying to vote by proxy is valid. Read the notes that accompany each form to find out if you need to get someone to support your application and who can do it.


When can I apply to vote by proxy?

The deadline for applying to vote by proxy is normally 5pm, six working days before an election.

What if I miss the deadline but can't go to my polling station?

If you have a medical emergency after the deadline, you can apply to vote by emergency proxy if the emergency means that you cannot go to the polling station in person.

You can also apply to vote by emergency proxy if your occupation, service or employment means that you cannot go to the polling station in person, and you only become aware of that fact after the deadline.

You can apply for an emergency proxy vote up to 5pm on polling day.


Who can vote on my behalf?

The person you wish to appoint as your proxy can only act as proxy if they are 18 (16 in Scotland) or over and, in Great Britain are registered individually.

Find out more about voting by proxy in Northern Ireland on the Electoral Office for Northern Ireland website.

You cannot be a proxy for more than two people at any one election or referendum, unless they are a close relative.