Your vote matters – keep updated with the basics and ask us *almost* anything! Watch

Official House of Commons
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There’s a general election on 12 December (you might have heard :^_^: ) and your vote matters.

That’s why the Digital Engagement Team at the House of Commons are running this thread to keep you informed and updated on:
  • Registering to vote
  • Different ways to vote
  • How elections work
  • Who you can vote for
  • Jargon busting and more!

AM(almost)A!

We're also here to take your questions on elections, voting, Parliament and related topics. However, as House of Commons employees we are impartial and won’t be able to talk about political parties, individual politicians and policies, especially during this pre-election period. We'll monitor the thread during office hours and reply as soon as we can.

Some questions for you:

  • Is this your first general election?
  • Looking forward to it?
  • Why is it important to you to vote?
Last edited by Official House of Commons; 2 weeks ago
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Glaz
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Do you think it's likely we'll be out by Jan 2020 or do you think it'll get ****ed up again and another extension will be granted
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Official House of Commons
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(Original post by Glaz)
Do you think it's likely we'll be out by Jan 2020 or do you think it'll get ****ed up again and another extension will be granted
Glaz I'm afraid we can't speculate on election outcomes and what might happen thereafter.
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ByEeek
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Which party is selling the biggest empty promises? They all seem to be vying with each other to mortgage the country up to the hilt. I guess the next generation don't matter so long as this lot get in for the next 5 years?
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The Mogg
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For the benefit of everyone, could you give some example questions people could ask, since it's likely some may keep asking questions you are unable to answer otherwise.
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Official House of Commons
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Register to vote – 5 basics:

1) The deadline to register to vote in the 2019 General Election is 26 November. It takes just 5 minutes and all you need is your national insurance number, so if you’re eligible, do it!

2) As a student, you can register at both your term-time address and your home address. However, in general elections you can only vote from one of these. You can decide which one.

3) If you’ve registered to vote at your current address before, you won’t need to do so again.

4) You don’t have to vote in person. You can nominate someone to vote for you (a proxy vote), or vote by post. The deadlines for applying for these are as soon as 21 November if you’re in Northern Ireland, and soon thereafter for England, Scotland and Wales. Apply here.

5) The Student Room have written an excellent article which covers all you need to know about registering to vote. We'll be posting more details next week.

The Challenge...

As someone reading this thread, you probably have an interest in politics and might have already registered. The challenge is to get people who are less engaged to register!

Have you already registered? How easy was it?

Have you managed to get anyone else to register? Friends, family, colleagues or fellow students? How did you get on?
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AngryRedhead
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Oh wow, I didn’t know the real House of Commons was on TSR; how did you get your position?
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Fullofsurprises
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Please tell us a little bit about the Digital Engagement Team at the House - what sort of qualifications and experience you have, good and difficult things about the job, etc.

Have you experienced digital attacks on the H of C and is this problem getting worse?
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Official House of Commons
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(Original post by The Mogg)
For the benefit of everyone, could you give some example questions people could ask, since it's likely some may keep asking questions you are unable to answer otherwise.
The Mogg We're happy to field questions relating to the process of voting, how elections work in practice, how registering to vote works, how Parliament works etc. We just can't comment on anything which is party political, speculative, or related to policies. Hope that clarifies it a bit.
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Napp
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Can you answer why MP's are paid such an outrageous amount of money for doing, quite literally, no work? The past couple of years they've been sat around passing damn all policies (as noted by Moodys who are now threatening our credit rating again)
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Official House of Commons
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(Original post by Fullofsurprises)
Please tell us a little bit about the Digital Engagement Team at the House - what sort of qualifications and experience you have, good and difficult things about the job, etc.

Have you experienced digital attacks on the H of C and is this problem getting worse?
Thanks for the questions Fullofsurprises
(Original post by AngryRedhead)
Oh wow, I didn’t know the real House of Commons was on TSR; how did you get your position?
AngryRedhead this covers your question too:

The Digital Engagement Team work to engage online audiences with the work of the House of Commons, and to enable them to feed into Parliamentary activity. To do this, we find audiences who are affected by issues being raised by backbench MPs (those who aren't Ministers, or Shadow Ministers) and ask them to tell us how the issue is affecting them. The MP can then use their stories and experiences to inform their work. We do this through a range of channels like Facebook, TSR, reddit and more.

The team have come from a range of professional backgrounds covering communications, digital media and education. In terms of qualifications we have undergraduate degrees, a couple of us have postgraduate degrees. We also do other courses relevant to our work, some of which are run by Parliament and others which are run by external providers.

One of the perks of the job is the satisfaction that comes with getting people more engaged with Parliament and enabling them to see that it is relevant to them. We promote Parliamentary activity which sometimes goes under the radar in a busy news environment, giving people the chance to see that very specific issues which may affect them are addressed here. One of the difficulties is the fast-changing nature of Parliamentary business: sometimes it can be challenging to keep up with events and adapt our work accordingly. Certainly keeps things interesting though! We recently did an AMA we did on reddit which covers more of these, you might find it interesting.

In terms of digital attacks, the House of course has cyber security measures in place to stop these. There are a number of technical systems in place, but also campaigns among the staff to make everyone cyber security aware and promote behaviour which enhances our cyber safety. In recent times this has stopped any issues at source, and kept the House safe in this regard.

Would you or anyone else out there be interested in working for the House? Keep an eye on our careers page, new opportunities come up often!
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Official House of Commons
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:erm: Jargon buster :hmmmm:

"Constituency"

Are you planning to vote for Jeremy Corbyn, Boris Johnson, Jo Swinson or another party leader? Unless you are eligible and registered to vote in their constituencies, you can’t!

The UK is split into 650 geographical areas called constituencies. Each constituency is represented by an MP.

On 12 December you can vote for a candidate to be the MP for your constituency.

Find out what your constituency is, and who your candidates are at whocanivotefor.co.uk

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Official House of Commons
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:run: Deadline alert! :vroam:

Postal and proxy voting in Northern Ireland - deadline today at 5pm!

If you aren’t able to cast your vote in person, you can have someone you trust cast it for you (a proxy vote). You can also vote by post.

The deadline for applying to vote by proxy or by post in Northern Ireland is today at 5pm!

Some facts:



We’ll update the thread with information for postal and proxy voters in England, Scotland and Wales soon.
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Official House of Commons
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🚨 You have until 23.59pm *tomorrow* (26 November 2019) to register to vote! 🚨

That came around quick! If you've not registered yet then time really is running out. Go to gov.uk/register-to-vote and see how easy it is

Our post further up the thread has some basics you need to know about registering, and TSR have written a great article which goes into more depth.

Let us know how you get on.
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Official House of Commons
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:erm: Jargon buster :hmmmm:

"Dissolution"

Parliament was "dissolved" at 00.01 on Wednesday 6 November.

At that moment, MPs reverted back to being members of the public. If they wanted to continue being an MP they had to put themselves forward as a candidate and campaign in their constituency.

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CatusStarbright
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Can you explain precisely how a proxy vote works? I'm abroad at the moment so I've applied for my mother to be my proxy. What exactly will she have to do at the polling station?
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Blue_Cow
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(Original post by Official House of Commons)


There’s a general election on 12 December (you might have heard :^_^: ) and your vote matters.

That’s why the Digital Engagement Team at the House of Commons are running this thread to keep you informed and updated on:
  • Registering to vote
  • Different ways to vote
  • How elections work
  • Who you can vote for
  • Jargon busting and more!

AM(almost)A!

We're also here to take your questions on elections, voting, Parliament and related topics. However, as House of Commons employees we are impartial and won’t be able to talk about political parties, individual politicians and policies, especially during this pre-election period. We'll monitor the thread during office hours and reply as soon as we can.

Some questions for you:

  • Is this your first general election?
  • Looking forward to it?
  • Why is it important to you to vote?
Hi,

Why do the clerks wear court dress? What's the significance of their attire?
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Official House of Commons
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(Original post by CatusStarbright)
Can you explain precisely how a proxy vote works? I'm abroad at the moment so I've applied for my mother to be my proxy. What exactly will she have to do at the polling station?
CatusStarbright Sure: Your mother must go to your polling station to cast your vote. She will receive a proxy poll card telling her where and when to cast your vote for you. At the polling station she'll just show the card and state that she's voting on your behalf.

Do you know whether she's received the proxy poll card yet? If she hasn't got it by the end of the week she could contact your local electoral services team. Their contact details can be found here.

There's more guidance on the Electoral Commission's proxy voting page. Hope that helps but let us know if you need any further info
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Official House of Commons
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(Original post by Blue_Cow)
Hi,

Why do the clerks wear court dress? What's the significance of their attire?
Blue_Cow great question! Here's something from Sir Peter Thorne, a former Serjeant at Arms in the House of Commons. He described the origins of official dress in a paper in the House of Commons Library Document series:

"There is now a marked contrast between the everyday clothes of MPs and the dress worn by the Speaker, the Clerk of the House, the Serjeant at Arms and their staff on duty in the Commons. This has not always been so: until the end of the eighteenth century there was no great difference between the clothes ordinarily worn by Members in London. But this divergence began when it became fashionable to wear trousers instead of knee breeches; and as knee breeches rapidly became a traditional form of dress and served as a distinctive uniform for its wearers.

Two other forms of official dress are worn in the Chamber in addition to the eighteenth-century style court dress: one is the morning tail coat of the Deputy Speaker in the Chair and of the Speaker’s Secretary on normal sitting days; the other is evening tail coat with black waistcoat and Royal Messenger’s badge worn by the Doorkeepers."

There's some more information on an (archived) factsheet about the Clerk of the House.
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Official House of Commons
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:run: Deadline alert! :vroam:

Proxy vote applications - 4 December at 5pm!

If you aren't able to cast your vote in person, you can have someone you trust cast your vote for you. This is known as a proxy vote.
  • You and your proxy both have to be registered and eligible to vote in this Election.
  • Your proxy needs to be able to get to your polling station on 12 December.

To apply for a proxy vote, complete this form and give a reason why you can't get to your polling station in person.

You'll then return the form to your local Electoral Registration office - find their contact details on gov.uk.

More info on the Electoral Commission's proxy voting page.

CatusStarbright is voting by proxy, is anyone else?
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