There are three methods of voting in a UK general election – in person, by post or by proxy.
If you are registered to vote but living abroad, and won’t be in the UK to vote in person, your only two options are post or proxy.
Voting by proxy means authorising a trusted person to cast your vote for you. This is the method we recommend, because postal voting forms often don’t reach foreign addresses in time to be returned and counted before the polls are closed.
People often ask a family member, neighbour or friend to be a proxy, but anyone can act as your proxy as long as they are registered to vote.
Your proxy can vote in person or by post. If your proxy votes at the same polling station as you would (e.g. a neighbour in UK), check with your Electoral Registration Office (ERO) that your proxy can vote in person – it is easier for them. If you had previously made arrangements to have a postal vote, make sure you cancel it before applying for your proxy.
Alternatively, your proxy can live elsewhere and they can vote by post from anywhere in the UK. If your proxy has to vote for you by post, they must apply to your ERO to vote by post on your behalf. The proxy will be sent a form which they need to fill in and return to the ERO at least 15 days before an election.
Any proxy can vote for 2 people per constituency at the same election, or more if the extra people are close relatives.
Your proxy can even be living abroad so long as they are registered to vote. In this case you would need to arrange for the proxy to vote by post well in advance.
If you haven’t got a proxy lined up, you can approach your UK CLP where you are registered to vote. The local Labour MP, PPC, CLP secretary, or any Labour councillor should be able and willing to facilitate the process for you.
Here are the proxy vote application forms for download:
If you come up against any problems and need help, contact
The quickest way to deal with the paperwork is to do everything online. Anything that requires a signature can be printed, signed, scanned and returned electronically. If you don’t have these facilities at home there is probably a print shop near you that does. You can also photograph and send the signed form electronically.
All forms must be sent to the Electoral Services Division of your local authority in the UK, not the Electoral Commission.
Information about Voting by Post if you still want to.
And make sure you put a stamp on the return envelope even if it is reply paid, just to make sure.