National, local and European elections take place in Lambeth, so it's important that you register to vote and keep your details up-to-date on the electoral register to ensure you don't lose your vote.
Registering to vote is required by law and everyone is responsible for registering themselves.
If your enquiry is urgent, please call the Lambeth Electoral Services helpline on 020 7926 2254 as soon as possible.
Sections in this guide (click title to view)
- 1. Annual canvass 2017
- 2. Register to vote
- 3. Voting by post or by proxy (someone else voting on your behalf)
- 4. The electoral register
- 5. Official election notices
- 6. Results
- 7. Petition for mayoral referendum
- 8. Get in touch
1. Annual canvass 2017
What is the annual canvass?
Each year Lambeth Electoral Services are required to contact every household in the Borough to find out if there are any changes to the household so we can remove the details of people who no longer live there and invite new occupants to register individually.
Lambeth’s 2018 Register of Electors will be published on 1 December 2017.
Household Enquiry Form
Every residential property in the Borough should receive a Household Enquiry Form (HEF) during September 2017. It is a legal requirement for residents to confirm details relating to their property.
If the property is empty, solely a business or there are no residents who are eligible to register to vote, the person responsible will need to respond to the HEF.
There are four ways to respond to the HEF. How you respond will be determined by whether there are changes to the household. You will need the security code printed on the form. If you no longer have this form, please wait for the reminder HEF form.
If there are no changes, you can respond in the following way:
- Online using the household response website
- By SMS – you will need to send NOCHANGE followed by both parts of the security code to 80212 (standard charges apply)
- By telephone – please call 0800 197 9871
If there are changes, you can respond in the following way:
- Online using the household response website
Alternatively you can send the completed form by post using the freepost envelope provided.
If we do not receive a response to the initial request or reminder, a canvasser will visit your property in the autumn to assist with completing the form. If you are not home when they call, they will leave a calling card detailing their visit. Canvassers will have a Lambeth ID badge and letter of authorisation.
Invitation to Register
The HEF is not a registration form. Any members of the household who are not registered will be invited to register. We will send an Invitation to Register (ITR) to each individual either by email or post, however they do not need to wait for the form to arrive to register to vote. An application can be made online using the register to vote website.
Changing your opt out status
You cannot change your opt out status using a HEF. To change your opt out status, each individual should email or write to us detailing their request along with their full name and address.
Alternatively each individual can submit their request Changing your opt out status.
Cancelling a postal or proxy vote
You cannot change your absent voting method using a HEF. To apply for a postal or proxy vote, please see section 3 below.
To cancel an existing postal or proxy arrangement, each individual should write a signed letter to us detailing their request, along with their full name and address. You can find our contact details in section 8 below.
This signed notification can be scanned and emailed to us.
2. Register to vote
You must be on the electoral register to be able to vote. You can add your name to the register online at the voter registration website. To check whether you’re registered to vote contact electoral services.
Can anyone register to vote in Lambeth?
No. Only the following people can register to vote:
- British or qualifying Commonwealth citizens. This means Commonwealth citizens who have leave to remain in the UK or do not require such leave.
- Citizens of the Republic of Ireland or other European Union (EU) member states.
You must be over 18 years old to vote. However, you can register if you are 16 or 17. Your name will be shown with the date of your eighteenth birthday, after which you will be able to vote in elections in the borough.
How long does registration take?
Once you complete the application to register to vote we will send the details to central government for verification. When your details are verified we will be able to confirm your entry on the register.
Your details will be officially published on the register according to the determination date (see below). The register is updated on the first working day of each month.
See deadlines to submit an application, and for the application to be determined, on the table below. If your application is verified by the determination date, your details will officially appear on the register on the relevant new published register date.
Once your details are officially published on the register you will receive a confirmation letter.
2017 registration deadlines
|Deadline for new applications||Date Register Updated|
|Wednesday 23 November 2016||Tuesday 1 December 2016|
|Monday 12 December 2016||Tuesday 3 January 2017|
|Tuesday 10 January 2017||Wednesday 1 February 2017|
|Tuesday 7 February 2017||Wednesday 1 March 2017|
|Friday 10 March 2017||Monday 3 April 2017|
|Thursday 6 April 2017||Tuesday 2 May 2017|
|Wednesday 10 May 2017||Thursday 1 June 2017|
|Friday 9 June 2017||Monday 3 July 2017|
|Monday 10 July 2017||Tuesday 1 August 2017|
|Thursday 10 August 2017||Friday 1 September 2017|
|Thursday 23 November 2017||Friday 1 December 2017|
3. Voting by post or by proxy (someone else voting on your behalf)
The current rules to prevent fraud and misuse of postal votes mean we have to collect a specimen signature and a personal identifier from each person applying for a postal vote. The personal identifier is your date of birth.
This information must be supplied on an official postal vote application form and will be used to match and verify your returned postal vote at election time.
If you are unable to vote in person, you can also apply to vote by proxy (someone else voting on your behalf).
You can download the application forms to vote by post or proxy from the link below. If you would prefer an application form to be posted to you please contact the electoral services team directly by email or telephone.
4. The electoral register
The electoral register is the list of everyone in the borough who is registered to vote. You can only vote if your name is on the register. We update the register every autumn through our annual canvass - the 2017 register was published on 1 December 2016.
If you move within Lambeth or to Lambeth from another area you will also need to complete a new registration.
We do not use records from other council departments to update the register (though we may use that information to contact you and invite you to register). For example, you may be registered for council tax but this does not automatically put you on the register of electors.
Our electoral registration officer must keep two versions of the electoral register: the Full Register and the Open Register.
The Full Register lists everyone who is entitled to vote.
By law, only certain people and organisations can have copies of the full register and they can only use it for specified purposes. These include electoral purposes, the prevention and detection of crime and checking your identity when you have applied for credit.
The full list of these persons and purposes is given in the Representation of the People (England and Wales) (Amendment) Regulations 2002. It is a criminal offence for them to pass the Full Register on or use it for any other purpose.
You can check this register by visiting the Electoral Services office in Lambeth Town Hall
18 Brixton Hill
London SW2 1RL
The open register is an extract of the electoral register, but is not used for elections. It can be bought by any person, company or organisation. For example, it is used by businesses and charities to confirm name and address details. Your name and address will be included in the open register unless you ask for them to be removed. Removing your details from the open register does not affect your right to vote.
You can permanently opt out of the open register by completing our online form.
Changes to electoral registration in Britain
From 10 June 2014 new rules came in to force regarding registering to vote.
Under the new Individual Electoral Registration (IER) rules you will need to provide identifying information, such as your date of birth and national insurance number, when applying to register and your application will need to be verified before you are added to the register. Anyone unable to supply this information would be able to provide an alternative form of evidence of their identity.
5. Official election notices
See results to elections held in Lambeth, including local, European, Greater London and general elections.
7. Petition for mayoral referendum
The law states that a petition containing the signatures of more than 5 per cent of the local government electorate can require the local authority to hold a referendum on whether or not the council should have a directly elected mayor. That currently equates to 11,231 signatures.