Voting by proxy

If you can't vote in person, one option is to cast your vote by proxy - this means getting someone else to vote for you. Here you can find out more about voting by proxy, including how to apply.

On this page, you can find out how to apply to cast your vote by proxy.

Proxy voting means that if you aren't able to cast your vote in person, you can have someone you trust cast your vote for you.


Apply to vote by proxy

Here you can find the different application forms for a proxy vote, depending on the reason you wish to apply to vote by proxy.


Particular election or referendum only

Download the form to vote by proxy at a particular election or referendum (PDF)


Disability

If you can't make it to the polling station due to a disability, you can appoint someone else to vote for you.

Download the form for a proxy vote due to disability (PDF)


Education

If you'll be away on a course on polling day, you can appoint someone else to vote for you.

Download the form for a proxy vote as you're away on education (PDF)


Employment

If you'll be away for work on polling day, you can appoint someone else to vote for you.

Download the form for a proxy vote as you'll be away for work (PDF)


Overseas

If you're living overseas, you can appoint someone else to vote at a UK election or referendum for you.

Download the form for a proxy vote as you're living overseas (PDF)


Crown Servant

If you're away working for the British Council or as a Crown servant, you can appoint someone else to vote at a UK election or referendum for you.

Download the form for a proxy vote as you're working as a Crown Servant (PDF)


Armed forces

If you're serving overseas, you can appoint someone else to vote at a UK election or referendum for you.

Download the form for proxy vote as you're serving in the Armed Forces (PDF)


APPLY TO VOTE BY EMERGENCY PROXY

In certain circumstances, where you have an emergency that means you cannot go to the polling station in person, you can apply for an emergency proxy up to 5pm on the day of the poll.

Emergency proxy for a disability (PDF)

Emergency Proxy for Occupation, Service or Employment (PDF)


Am I eligible to vote by proxy?

Anyone who is registered can apply for a proxy vote.

When you apply for a proxy vote you must provide a reason. You can apply for a proxy vote if:

  • you are unable to go to the polling station for one particular election, for example, if you are away on holiday
  • you have a physical condition that means you cannot go to the polling station on election day
  • your employment means that you cannot go to the polling station on election day
  • your attendance on an educational course means that you cannot go to the polling station on election day
  • you are a British citizen living overseas
  • you are a crown servant or a member of Her Majesty's Armed Forces

The person you wish to appoint as your proxy can only act as proxy if they are 18 or over (at Scottish Parliamentary and local government elections only this is 16 or over) and they are (or will be) registered for that election or referendum.

A person cannot be a proxy for more than two people at any one election or referendum, unless they are a close relative.

Do I need to apply again if I have changed address?

Yes. If you change address, you will need to make a new application to vote by post or by proxy – your voting preference will not be carried forward to your new address.


Being appointed as a proxy

If you have been appointed as someone’s proxy, this means you can cast their vote on their behalf.

You can only be a proxy for close relatives (defined as your spouse, civil partner, parent, grandparent, brother, sister, child or grandchild) and up to two other people.

You can only act as proxy if you are 18 or over (16 or over in Scotland at Scottish Parliamentary and local council elections) and you are (or will be) registered for that election or referendum.

The person who appointed you will tell you how they want you to vote on their behalf, for example, which candidate, party, or outcome.

How to vote as someone’s proxy

You must go to the polling station of the person who appointed you as their proxy.  If you can’t go to their polling station, you can apply to vote for them by post up to 5pm, 11 working days before the poll.

You will receive a proxy poll card telling you where and when to cast their vote for them.

If you don’t receive a proxy poll card, you should check with the local council of the person who has appointed you as their proxy. They will  be able to tell you where to go to vote.

The person who appointed you as their proxy may still vote in person, provided they do so before you have voted for them, or you have not applied to vote for them by post