Anonymous registration allows people whose safety would be at risk if their name or address were listed on the electoral register, for example survivors of domestic abuse, to register to vote without their details made public. This note outlines the current requirements.

  • Research Briefing

    This paper sets out who can vote in UK elections. It provides information on the UK Parliamentary franchise and the different local government franchises in different parts of the UK.

  • Research Briefing

    Under current legislation, a person must be 18 or over to vote in elections to the UK Parliament. The voting age for devolved and local election in Scotland and Wales has been lowered to 16. This Note gives details of calls for a change in the law to reduce the voting age to 16 in recent years.

  • Research Briefing

    Recall is used to describe a process where the electorate in an area can trigger a special election to remove an elected representative before the end of their term. A recall procedure was introduced in the UK in 2015. It only applies to Members of Parliament.

  • Research Briefing

    The Coronavirus Act,which received Royal Assent on 25 March 2020, made emergency provisions in relation to the coronavirus. This briefing examines the provisions related to postponing local elections due in May 2020 until May 2021.

  • Research Briefing

    Parliamentary constituency boundaries are reviewed periodically by independent Boundary Commissions. This House of Commons Library briefing summarises the current rules and procedures for boundary changes and how they have changed over time. It also gives an overview how the number of MPs has reached the current number.

  • Research Briefing

    The Armed Forces can register to vote as ordinary electors, as overseas voters, or as service voters. There has been concern about the under-registration of the Armed Forces, especially those serving overseas, and the difficulties they face in participating in the electoral process more generally.The Note also gives a brief history of how the system of voting by members of the Armed Forces has changed, particularly during the periods directly after each World War.

  • Research Briefing

    British citizens living overseas are currently entitled to be registered to vote in UK Parliamentary elections for up to 15 years in the constituency they were registered in before leaving the UK. The Government has committed to end the 15-year limit and introduce 'votes for life'. This Briefing Paper provides details of the provisions relating to overseas voters in the Representation of the People Act 1985 and the proposals for change. It also summarises earlier attempts to change the 15 year rule.