Voting changes and ID info

David Floyd on the local and national electoral changes to watch out for in 2024

Labour's London mayor Sadiq Khan (left) and Conservative mayoral candidate Susan Hall (right)
Sadiq Khan is facing Susan Hall under the first-past-the-post system

Three big changes to electoral and voting systems have taken place since the previous elections in 2019 and 2021.

Voter ID – In the Elections Act 2022, the government introduced a new requirement for voters to show photo ID when voting at polling stations. The Electoral Commission has a list of accepted forms of ID which include a passport or a driving licence. Voters who do not have any of the permitted forms of ID need to apply for a Voter Authority Certificate. More information is available here.

Mayor elected by FPTP – In all London Mayoral elections up to 2021, the mayor was elected by a system called supplementary vote. This meant that voters had to vote for a first and second choice candidate. All first choice votes were counted in the first round – after which all but the top two candidates were eliminated. Then voters whose first choice candidate had been eliminated had their second vote allocated to whichever (if either) of the top two candidates they had chosen. 

In the Elections Act 2022, the government changed the voting system for mayoral elections to first-past-the-post (the system used for constituencies in general elections). That means voters will now vote once for mayor and the candidate with the most votes will be elected. 

Friern Barnet joins Hornsey constituency – Having been considered for many years, the Boundary Commission finally concluded a review of parliamentary constituencies this year. There are two main changes affecting the borough. One is that the Edgewarebury council ward moves from the Hendon constituency into Chipping Barnet. The other is that Friern Barnet has moved from Chipping Barnet constituency to form part of a new constituency called Hornsey and Friern Barnet. This means that, following the next general election, there will be four MPs responsible for parts of the borough of Barnet.  

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