A one minute guide: what is the referendum?

What is a referendum?

A referendum is a popular vote held to decide a single political issue. All eligible voters cast their ballot, and the side winning the largest number of votes wins.

Why are we having the referendum?

Holding a referendum on the UK’s membership of the European Union was one of the manifesto promises made by Prime Minister David Cameron before the 2015 general election.

What will the referendum question be?

The referendum question will be: “Should the United Kingdom remain a member of the European Union or leave the European Union?”

… with the responses:

1) Remain a member of the European Union

2) Leave the European Union

When will the referendum be held?

The referendum will be held on Thursday 23 June 2016.

Who can vote in the EU referendum?

British, Irish and Commonwealth citizens living in the UK can vote if they are aged over 18 and registered to vote on the day of the Referendum.

British citizens or Irish citizens born in Northern Ireland who live overseas can vote only if they have been on the electoral register in the UK in the last 15 years.

British citizens living overseas for over 15 years cannot vote.

How do I register to vote?

Registration for voting has now closed.

How will I be able to vote in the referendum?

If you are eligible to vote there are three ways you can vote in the EU referendum:

1) You can vote in person

2) You can apply to vote by post. You do not need a reason to do this. You will need to apply by 5pm on Wednesday 8 June to vote by post in the EU referendum

3) You can apply to vote by proxy. Anyone who is a registered voter can apply for a proxy vote, but they must provide a valid reason (i.e. being on holiday) You will need to apply by 5pm on Wednesday 15 June.

To read more about these methods of voting, visit the Electoral Commission Website.

Produced by The UK in a Changing Europe

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The views expressed in this explainer are those of the authors and not necessarily those of the UK in a Changing Europe initiative.

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