Polling day trivia

The polling stations have already been open for a couple of hours, and whilst we trust that our readers will not require the BBC’s How to vote on polling day¸ they may find some of the following links interesting. Firstly, some basic urban myths are dispelled in the Q&A from UK Parliament; and the official website of the British Monarchy explains that although the law relating to elections does not specifically prohibit the Sovereign from voting in a general election or local election, it is considered unconstitutional for the Sovereign and his or her heir to do so, and therefore they don’t.

With the removal of hereditary peers from the House of Lords in 1999, the Royal Dukes (The Dukes of Edinburgh, York, Gloucester and Kent) ceased to be members of the House of Lords and therefore became eligible to vote in elections, and to stand for election. But members of the Royal Family do not exercise these rights. Although Peers are disqualified from voting in general elections, this does not apply to bishops in the House of Lords, who are not Peers of the Realm and sit in the House of Lords as Lords Spiritual. Consequently they are permitted to vote at general elections, but as a rule do not.

With regard to those of us who are eligible voters, the BBC has provided an interesting summary What can’t you do in a polling station? i.e. taking a selfie (or any photograph), tweet, discuss voting intentions with one’s partner, &c: the general rule being that conduct within a polling station is strictly controlled, although apparently one may take a dog as it doesn’t disrupt the vote. Anyone who is still undecided might try one of the many on-line quizzes such as Who should you vote for? to see which party matches your views most closely [it did], but for any other questions, make sure that you have a copy of the Representation of the People Act 1983.

Cite this article as: David Pocklington, "Polling day trivia" in Law & Religion UK, 7 May 2015, https://lawandreligionuk.com/2015/05/07/polling-day-trivia/

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