Voting in elections is an important way to make your voice heard on the issues that concern you. It is central to the way in which our democracy works.

Decisions are made on your behalf by local government every day, ranging from what building work is approved in your area and what recreational facilities you have, to national issues like roads, transport and education. Similarly, central government controls such issues as defence and the environment.

These decisions are made by people elected to represent you on local councils and in the UK and European Parliaments.

Who can vote? 

British citizens, citizens of the Commonwealth, British Overseas Territories, EU members* and the Irish Republic can vote in the UK. You can register from the age of 16, but will not be able to vote until you turn 18.

If you normally live in the UK you can still vote if you are temporarily away for work, hospital, studies or vacation for less than six months.

More information on who can vote can be found on GOV.UK's Voting in the UK page. The site also includes information on applying to be registered to vote.

* Please note that EU Members can only vote in local elections and European elections.