Voters head to polls in UK general election

Polls open across the country in the first general election for almost five years.

A total of 650 parliamentary constituencies are being contested in England, Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland, with polling stations open until 10pm.

There are around 40,000 polling stations in the UK and 46 million people are eligible to vote.

This is the first general election where voter ID will be required, after new rules were introduced in 2023.

There are 22 types of identification you can use, including a passport or driving licence.

Boundary changes mean many people will vote in new or different constituencies from the last general election.

When all the votes are counted after the polls close, a party needs 326 seats for a majority in the House of Commons without relying on support from smaller parties.

Elections in the UK are usually held every four to five years. The latest this contest could have been held was in January 2025, but the prime minister made the decision to go to the polls earlier.

Elections have typically been held in May, though the election in December 2019 was the first winter election in almost a century.

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