General election live updates: Voting for the first time? We're answering your questions on issues you care about (2024)

Table of Contents
Summary Live Reporting Three. More. Days.published at 22:41 1 July22:41 1 July Bungee jumps, interviews and postal vote issues - what happened todaypublished at 22:23 1 July22:23 1 July Unsure who to vote for?published at 22:10 1 July22:10 1 July Sunak urges voters to prevent the 'danger' of a Labour governmentpublished at 21:55 1 July21:55 1 July Meet the accidental social media election influencerspublished at 21:45 1 July21:45 1 July Three easy tips for decoding your social media feed this electionpublished at 21:17 1 July21:17 1 July Not sure whether to vote? This might help you decidepublished at 20:57 1 July20:57 1 July There's more on BBC News for young voterspublished at 20:39 1 July20:39 1 July Young voters discuss the issues that matter the most to thempublished at 20:26 1 July20:26 1 July Who am I actually voting for on election day?published at 20:18 1 July20:18 1 July Will the election result change my food bill?published at 20:13 1 July20:13 1 July What are parties going to do about sewage pumped into our rivers?published at 20:06 1 July20:06 1 July Can 16-year-olds vote?published at 20:02 1 July20:02 1 July What do I do if my council has not sent my postal vote yet?published at 19:56 1 July19:56 1 July Does voting make any difference at all?published at 19:53 1 July19:53 1 July Can I ask a friend to vote on my behalf?published at 19:53 1 July19:53 1 July This is the first TikTok general election - is it working for the parties?published at 19:50 1 July19:50 1 July What is tactical voting?published at 19:47 1 July19:47 1 July What are the parties' promises on mental health services?published at 19:45 1 July19:45 1 July What to look out for on social feeds during the electionpublished at 19:40 1 July19:40 1 July References

Summary

  • We're answering first-time voters’ questions on everything from tactical voting to what you need to bring to the polling station - scroll down to see more

  • Meanwhile, parties are ramping up their election campaigning with just three days left until polls open

  • Conservative leader Rishi Sunak tells the BBC's Chris Mason the election is "not over until it’s over" as he insists he hasn't given up on the campaign

  • Keir Starmer tells voters the choice "could not be starker" as he calls for a "summer of change"

  • At least six councils across the UK have had issues with delayed postal votes - here's what to do if your ballot hasn't arrived

  • Unsure who to vote for? Compare the main parties in our manifesto guide here

Live Reporting

Edited by Johanna Chisholm

  1. Three. More. Days.published at 22:41 1 July

    22:41 1 July

    Ali Abbas Ahmadi
    Live reporter

    Campaigning continued on yet another busy day during this final stretch towards the election. Before we go, here's a look back at what happened today.

    • We heard from both Prime Minister Rishi Sunak and Labour's Sir Keir Starmer today as they continue to fight for every vote and ramp up their campaigns
    • As always, Lib Dems leader Ed Davey provided us with a mixture of substance and entertainment - on a bungee jump in Eastbourne, he tried to convince voters to "take the plunge" on his party
    • And we answered the questions of young voters, who shared the things they care most about heading into the election

    There's only three days left. We're almost there. Join us again tomorrow (and the next day, and the next!) as we carry you through these last few - likely very busy, again - days of the campaign.

    This page was written by Ben Hatton, Adam Durbin, Joe McFadden, Jaime Whitehead and Ali Abbas Ahmadi. It was edited by Emily McGarvey, Emily Atkinson, Rob Corp and Johanna Chisholm.

  2. Bungee jumps, interviews and postal vote issues - what happened todaypublished at 22:23 1 July

    22:23 1 July

    General election live updates: Voting for the first time? We're answering your questions on issues you care about (1)Image source, Reuters

    With just a few days to go before the big 4 July poll, the political parties have been busy hitting the campaign trail today. We're soon going to be pausing our coverage, but before we do that, here's a quick recap of the day's key moments:

    • Rishi Sunak spoke to the BBC's Political Editor Chris Mason where he denied he has given up on winning the election saying "it is not over 'til it's over" - despite talking about the prospect of a Labour "supermajority"
    • Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer campaigned in the south-east of England where he acknowledged the "final steps" were the hardest, and some people still need to be convinced to vote for his party
    • The Liberal Democrat leader has been proving he has a head for heights with his latest stunt involving a bungee jump. Sir Ed Davey says he is urging voters to take a similar leap of faith and back his party on Thursday
    • SNP leader John Swinney says his party will always put the interests of Scotland first. On a visit to Peterhead Fish Market in Aberdeenshire he said the Tories will lose decisively to Labour and urged voters to back the SNP
    • Finally, thousands of voters across the UK are waiting on their postal votes. The BBC is aware of issues in at least six councils including Medway in Kent, Southwark in London and Uttlesford in Essex, as well as Scottish councils in Edinburgh, Fife and North Lanarkshire. Here is a useful guide for what to do if your ballot has not arrived
  3. Unsure who to vote for?published at 22:10 1 July

    22:10 1 July

    General election live updates: Voting for the first time? We're answering your questions on issues you care about (2)

    There's been (and will continue to be) a lot of mud slinging from political parties as we inch closer to Thursday.

    So we've put together a guide which summarises where parties stand on a whole host of issues, including the cost of living, housing, immigration, education, crime and more.

    Take a look here.

  4. Sunak urges voters to prevent the 'danger' of a Labour governmentpublished at 21:55 1 July

    21:55 1 July

    General election live updates: Voting for the first time? We're answering your questions on issues you care about (3)Image source, PA Media

    A little while ago, when we were covering election issues that are top of mind for young voters (scroll back for more of that), Prime Minister Rishi Sunak was busy campaigning in Leicestershire.

    While there, Sunak urged voters to vote for his party and prevent the "danger" of a Labour government.

    He again repeated the claim that a Labour government would mean higher taxes.

    Quote Message

    Once you've given Labour a blank cheque, you won't be able to get it back. And that means that your taxes are going up: your car, your pension, your savings, your work, you name it, they will tax it thousands and thousands of pounds. It's what they always do. It's in their DNA."

    Rishi Sunak

    For context: The Conservative government’s manifesto includes pledges to cut National Insurance and freeze rates of income tax, VAT, and corporation tax. The Labour Party has said it will not raise these four tax rates.

  5. Meet the accidental social media election influencerspublished at 21:45 1 July

    21:45 1 July

    Marianna Spring
    Disinformation and social media correspondent

    General election live updates: Voting for the first time? We're answering your questions on issues you care about (4)

    There’s an alternative political conversation unfolding on social media - one that can feel quite different from the mainstream commentary and that’s dictated in part by social media sites algorithms.

    Lots of posts being recommended to peoples' feeds about politics aren't from the political parties themselves but from what I like to call the accidental election influencers, plucked from obscurity by social media sites’ algorithms.

    These are often people with a range of political views whose amateur content is getting as much traction as some of the parties’ own posts. Crucially, its these posts that can reach audiences otherwise disengaged from mainstream political commentary.

    The ability to go viral overnight because of how social media algorithms work can encourage some people to voice their opinions and take part in the democratic process.

    It’s worth saying lots of these profiles are sharing reliable updates and hot takes. But with great virality comes great responsibility - and some accounts like this have shared misleading claims, as well as finding themselves a target for threats and abuse.

    • Read my latest investigation on this topic here
  6. Three easy tips for decoding your social media feed this electionpublished at 21:17 1 July

    21:17 1 July

    Marianna Spring
    Disinformation and social media correspondent

    Social media feeds across the UK are flooded with politicalcontent - some true, some misleading, some fake. So how can you tell fact fromfiction?

    Here are my top tips:

    • Be aware of what’s popping up on your phone: It could beofficial adverts paid for by the political parties - they’ll be labelled. Orthere’s stuff that’s not paid for - posts fromthese profiles can go viral unexpectedly. Some are just opinion - but otherscan mislead
    • Interrogate the source: Ask questions about the accounta post has come from. Is it run by a political campaign or supporter? Do they have a reliable posting track record? What's their agenda? Or is it tricky to figure out whose behind the account? I’veidentified lots of profiles accused of being bots. Lots arejust real voters, others are suspicious and those have been removed by thesocial media companies
    • Is it deepfaked, doctored or edited? If you spot avideo or an audio clip, figure out whether it’s actually real. Clues tolook out for include extra fingers and missing eyes that suggest it’s AIgenerated - or very robotic audio. I investigated a network of profiles smearing politicians with deepfaked clips

    TikTok, X and Meta (which owns Instagram and Facebook) have all toldme they have invested in ensuring users get reliable information in thisgeneral election. Some have removed posts and accounts following myinvestigations.

  7. Not sure whether to vote? This might help you decidepublished at 20:57 1 July

    20:57 1 July

    Are you one of those people who say they don’t do politics? You’re not alone.

    MPs shouting in Parliament, committee hearings, green papers, white papers – it can all feel very distant from daily life.

    But politics isn’t something that only happens in Westminster. It’s there whenever you sigh at the cost of a cuppa, put off paying a bill, celebrate a new job, move home or just wonder about the future.

    So do you really not do politics?

    If you're not sure, we've highlighted some connections between your life and politics here - it's well worth a read before polling day.

  8. There's more on BBC News for young voterspublished at 20:39 1 July

    20:39 1 July

    Thank you for joining us for that segment, where our experts answered questions from young people across the country.

    If you've got questions, hopefully you'll find some of the answers here.

    Stay with us as we continue to bring you more analysis and updates on the election campaigns.

  9. Young voters discuss the issues that matter the most to thempublished at 20:26 1 July

    20:26 1 July

    The BBC has been speaking to young voters up and down the country, asking them what matters most ahead of the election.

    Watch the video above to see what some of them had to say.

  10. Who am I actually voting for on election day?published at 20:18 1 July

    20:18 1 July

    Harry Farley
    Political correspondent

    Hader on Instagram asks what does voting actually do? Am I electing the next prime minister or someone else?

    On 4 July, you are voting for your local Member of Parliament, in your localarea (known as your constituency.

    It’s not like in the US, so you won’t see Rishi Sunak and KeirStarmer on your ballot paper. What you’re voting for is the different parties standingin your area.

    The UK is split up into 650 constituencies. The person whogets the most votes in your area becomes your local MP.

    And the party with the most MPs generally goes on to formthe next government.

  11. Will the election result change my food bill?published at 20:13 1 July

    20:13 1 July

    Harry Farley
    Political correspondent

    Ron on TikTok asks about supermarkets and whether the election result will change the amount we pay on our weekly shops.

    This comes down to inflation - which as a reminder, is the rate at which prices rise over time.

    Inflation shot up in recent years for a whole load of reasons - one is after the Covid pandemic prices went up and also Russia's invasion of Ukraine caused the rate of things to go up as well.

    The Conservatives talk a lot about tax, they want to cut the amount of money in tax so you have more to spend on your food shop.

    Labour has promised not to put up taxes in most cases and have also pledged to increase the minimum wage to what they call a "living wage".

  12. What are parties going to do about sewage pumped into our rivers?published at 20:06 1 July

    20:06 1 July

    Harry Farley
    Political correspondent

    Jaime on TikTok asks what parties will do about the sewage that is dumped into water bodies around the UK.

    At the moment, the water companies are allowed to pump sewage into the rivers and seas when it rains.

    The Liberal Democrats have spoken a lot about this issue over the course of the campaign, and want a general overhaul of the water industry.

    The Conservatives say they will work with the regulator to try and hold those companies to account.

    Labour says they want to give the regulator more powers to block bonuses to the executives of water companies.

    The Greens say they will make all the water companies - which at the moment are privately owned - be taken into public ownership.

  13. Can 16-year-olds vote?published at 20:02 1 July

    20:02 1 July

    Harry Farley
    Political correspondent

    No, they cannot vote in this election.

    The voting age has led to some debate during this campaign.

    Only those aged 18 and above can vote in this general election, but the Labour Party wants to allow 16 and 17-year-olds to vote in general elections.

    A few other parties agree with Labour, but the Conservatives disagree.

  14. What do I do if my council has not sent my postal vote yet?published at 19:56 1 July

    19:56 1 July

    Harry Farley
    Political correspondent

    Dan Conway on TikTok says his local council has not sent his postal vote yet - what do I do?

    First and foremost, you should contact your local council to apply for a replacement postal voting pack as soon as possible. This can be don eanytime until 17:00 on Thursday (polling day).

    If you get the replacement request in before 17:00 on Wednesday, it can be both posted to you or collected from the council in person.

    Any request put in between then and the polling day application deadline 24 hours later can only be picked up in person. My colleague Adam discussed this process in more detail earlier here.

    • Find out which local authority you need to contact on the Electoral Commission's website here, external
  15. Does voting make any difference at all?published at 19:53 1 July

    19:53 1 July

    Harry Farley
    Political correspondent

    Would it actually make a difference if I vote? asks Darren.

    Yes, by doing so you are having a say on the future of the country.

    If you care about things like the bus service, the trains, the NHS, this is your opportunity to have a say.

    And an election can come down to just one vote.

    Earlier in May, an election in Birmingham was decided by only a few hundred votes - so each one does count.

  16. Can I ask a friend to vote on my behalf?published at 19:53 1 July

    19:53 1 July

    If you have an emergency or are away on election day, you can nominate someone else to vote on your behalf.

    Lola Schroer explains in a speedy 37 seconds:

  17. This is the first TikTok general election - is it working for the parties?published at 19:50 1 July

    19:50 1 July

    Jonelle Awomoyi
    Presenter, Reliable Sauce podcast

    Some people have been complaining that the political parties are focusing on TikToks rather than trying to reach younger people with policies they would like.

    A lot of parties have been trying to use TikTok in order to promote themselves to young people - and this is the first general election featuring TikTok.

    I have seen one clip from a party of an AI-generated person struggling and losing their home. You do have to double check to see it is from the political party - and it is.

  18. What is tactical voting?published at 19:47 1 July

    19:47 1 July

    Harry Farley
    Political correspondent

    Tactical voting is when you vote for a party that maybe you wouldn’tnaturally support but you will back them at an election to get rid of another party you really don’t like.

    So for example, the UK system is set up in areas called constituencies. You may be in an area, for example, where the Conservatives and LiberalDemocrats are the two main parties.

    Maybe you don’t like either of them but you’re going to votefor one to get the other out.

    You’re not voting for the party that you really like, butyou’re voting for one which has the best chance of defeating the other that you don't like.

  19. What are the parties' promises on mental health services?published at 19:45 1 July

    19:45 1 July

    Harry Farley
    Political correspondent

    The main parties are focused on mental health - which is a big issue for younger voters.

    Labour - aim to ensure there is access to a mental health professional in every school

    Conservatives - want a mental health support team in every school and college

    Lib Dems - increase the amount spent on healthcare in general, which they will pay for through higher taxes on the wealthiest

    SNP and Plaid Cymru (in Scotland and Wales) also want to spend more on mental health

    Want more info? Compare the parties' pledges in more detail here.

  20. What to look out for on social feeds during the electionpublished at 19:40 1 July

    19:40 1 July

    Marianna Spring
    Disinformation and social media correspondent

    What do people have to look out for while consuming information about the election through their social feeds?

    The first thing is to be really aware of is the content you are being recommended - we are seeing a lot of paid ads by the political parities.

    Also be aware of unofficial content with parties taking aim at one another.

    People have just got to be aware of the content they are reading and sharing.

    I think it is important we all become digital detectives - take a proper look at someone's account - is it official or is it a political party with an agenda?

    Also be aware of content which could have been edited.

General election live updates: Voting for the first time? We're answering your questions on issues you care about (2024)

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