Voting by proxy

On this page you can find the answers to frequently asked questions about voting by proxy at an election or referendum.

Who can apply for a proxy vote for a UK election?

In 2014 the way we register to vote in England, Scotland and Wales changed, and if you want to vote by post or by proxy you must be registered under the new system.

To check if you're correctly registered, contact the local authority of the address you are registered to. To find their contact details, enter your postcode in the 'Your local area' section of our homepage.

In Northern Ireland, visit the Electoral Office for Northern Ireland website.

How do I get a proxy vote for a UK election?

You can apply for a new proxy up until 5pm, six working days prior to an election and you can amend an existing proxy vote until 5pm, eleven working days prior to polling day.

If you are suddenly incapacitated, you can apply to vote by proxy for medical reasons up until polling day. All applications must be received before 5pm on the specified day.

In addition, you can also apply for an emergency proxy up until 5pm on polling day 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 5pm, six working days before polling day.

Download an application form to vote by proxy from our page on voting by proxy

Who can be my proxy for a UK election?

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 (or will be) registered individually.

I've just found out I'll be away on polling day due to work commitments – can someone vote for me?

You can apply to vote by emergency proxy up until 5pm on polling day if your occupation, service or employment means that you cannot go to the polling station in person.

This is only if you only became aware of that fact after 5pm, six working days before polling day.

Find out more about voting by proxy

What happens after I've applied to vote by proxy?

Your proxy must go to your local polling place to vote.

Your proxy will be sent a proxy poll card, telling them where and when to vote.

You must let your proxy know how you want them to vote on your behalf, for example, for which candidate or party.

If your proxy cannot get to the polling place, they can apply to vote for you by post. They can apply to do this up to 5pm, 11 working days before election day. Your electoral registration office can give you more details about this. To find their contact details, enter your postcode in the 'Your local area' section of our homepage.

If you are able to go to the polling station on election day, you can still vote in person as long as your proxy has not already done so or has not applied to vote by post for you.

A relative or a friend has been suddenly incapacitated. Can I vote on their behalf?

You can apply to vote by emergency proxy for medical reasons up until 5pm on polling day. This only applies for medical reasons occurring after 5pm, six working days before polling day.

Download an application form to vote by emergency proxy from our page on voting by proxy

I've been made the proxy for someone. What do I need to do?

It's very simple to vote as someone's proxy. You will be sent a special proxy poll card with details of where you should go to vote.

Just tell the staff at the polling station that you are voting as a proxy and they will tell you what to do. Don't forget to take your proxy poll card – this will make it easier for polling place staff to find the right ballot paper.

If you can't attend the polling place, you can vote by post. You must apply for this postal vote before 5pm 11 working days before polling day. Contact your local electoral registration office to find out how to do this. To find their contact details, enter your postcode in the 'Your local area' section of our homepage.