UK Parliamentary General Election 2019

A general election is due to take place on 12 December 2019 for residents in Southwark to elect Members of Parliament for the Bermondsey and Old Southwark, Camberwell and Peckham, and Dulwich and West Norwood constituencies.

Register to vote

The deadline for receiving applications to register to vote is midnight on Tuesday 26 November 2019.

Postal votes

Postal votes can only be sent out after ballot papers have been printed and inserted into postal vote packs. The deadline for nominations is Thursday 14 November, so the postal vote printing process can only begin after this date.

Postal vote applications continue to be received, up until the deadline of 5pm on 26 November 2019.

This means that postal votes are sent out on more than one occasion, and it also means that those electors who register later in the electoral period or submit postal vote applications at the end of the period will have their postal votes sent out about 10 days before polling day.

The first batch of existing postal votes will be sent out on or about 22 November 2019.

The second batch of postal votes will be sent out on or about 25 November 2019.

The final batch of postal votes will be sent out on or about 2 December 2019.

Overseas electors

Existing overseas voters who have postal votes should receive the postal pack in time to complete and return them to the returning officer. These must be received by 10pm on Thursday 12 December.

Please note it can take some time for ballot papers to be sent to overseas addresses.  As a result of the often erratic nature of the postal service, particularly during the Christmas period, and the possibility of industrial action by Royal Mail during December, we strongly recommend that overseas voters apply to vote by proxy rather than by post.

As this is a snap election, postal votes could be sent out as late as 10 days prior to polling day. Past performance of postal votes going overseas has been poor – sometimes they arrive too late for the voter to return them on time. We have liaised with the government, the Electoral Commission, and Royal Mail at a national level to improve the service, but there has been no change in policy. In fact, Royal Mail has indicated an average delivery time of 7 days, with another 7 days for the return.

We believe this means postal voting is too unreliable for most overseas electors. This is in line with current Electoral Commission and Cabinet Office advice. Note that this is outside of the Council’s control.

If possible, we strongly advise you to nominate a proxy to vote on your behalf in the UK instead of a postal vote.  You can only have one absent vote, either a postal vote or a proxy. If you have an existing postal vote, you must cancel this before the deadline of 5pm on 26 November 2019 if you wish to then appoint a proxy. You cannot appoint a proxy if you have an existing postal vote after 5pm on 26 November 2019. 

We therefore recommend that overseas voters wherever possible use the proxy absent vote process. Ideally the proxy should be able to vote in the elector’s polling station.

A person appointed to act as a proxy can themselves apply for a postal vote, but this must be done by the postal vote deadline of 5pm on 26 November 2019.

Please be aware of the following deadlines:

  • The deadline to apply for a postal vote (including postal proxy), or change or cancel an existing postal vote is 5pm Tuesday 26 November
  • The deadline to apply for a proxy vote is 5pm Wednesday 4 December

Proxy voting

The deadline for receiving new applications to vote by proxy (not postal proxy) is 5pm on Wednesday 4 December 2019.

Page last updated: 15 November 2019