On 8 June, the UK goes to the polls to vote for the next government. We’ve put together some answers to common questions to make sure you have the information you need to take part in the general election and make your voice heard.
What is a general election?
The British public decide who they want to represent them in Parliament, and run the country, through a general election. Everyone who is eligible - and registered to vote - gets to vote for one candidate to represent their local area. In Parliament, local areas are referred to as ‘constituencies’.
The candidates standing for election are usually drawn from political parties, but individuals can also stand as independents. The person with the most votes in a constituency is elected as its MP, to represent that local area in the House of Commons.
The leader of the political party with the most MPs after the election is expected to be asked by the Queen to become Prime Minister and form a government to run the country. The leader of the political party with the second highest number of MPs normally becomes Leader of the Opposition.
How do I register to vote?
Read our guide to voting to find out who can vote and how you can register to vote.
To vote in a general election you must be registered. Registration is open throughout the year and can be done here.
People in England, Wales and Scotland can register to vote online, or download the forms to register by post, from the government's website. Voters in Northern Ireland use a different form that is returned to their local Area Electoral Office.
You can check if you are already registered by contacting your local electoral registration office using the Electoral Commission's website.
You must register by 22 May to vote in the General Election on 8 June.
How do I find out who my local candidates are?
Your local elections office will publish a list of all the candidates standing for election in your area after 11 May 2017. You will be able to find a link to information about the election from your local council’s website. If you need to contact the elections office: Find your local elections office here.
You may wish to visit candidate websites, party websites, or write to the party or candidate for more information.
What is Mind doing ahead of the general election?
We have launched a manifesto for England setting out the six key commitments we want all parties to make on mental health, ahead of the general election. We have also produced a manifesto specifically for mental health priorities in Wales.
Two years ago, mental health was on the agenda of every main political party; this time each party needs to maintain this momentum and, most critically, it must be at the heart of the next government.
How can I find out what my local candidates are saying about mental health?
Your local candidates will be canvassing from now up until polling day on 8 June, this is called ‘door stepping’. They will want to come face-to-face with the people they want to represent.
This is your opportunity to ask them how they will champion mental health locally and nationally if they are elected. We’ve created some handy doorstep questions that you may find useful to ask them.