You may have heard on the news that there’s going to be a general election soon in this country – the current Prime Minister, the leader of the government, has called for a vote to let the people of the U.K. decide who they want in their local area to represent them in Parliament.

On election day, people will go to a polling station and put a cross on a piece of paper (a ballot) next to the name of the person that they want to represent them in the House of Commons. Each area of the country is divided into an area, or constituency, which elects one representative to speak on their behalf in the Parliament, where all decisions, laws and policies governing the country are made. When a representative wins the most votes in their area, they become a Member of Parliament (MP). There are two parts to Parliament. The House of Commons is where the representatives of the constituencies work. The other part, the House of Lords, is made up of people who are chosen by the Queen. 

Each representative belongs to a group (or stands independently), known as a political party. The group that gets the most number of elected members, becomes the ruling party and creates a government, led by the leader of that party. This person becomes the Prime Minister.

Boris Johnson, the current Prime Minister, doesn’t have enough MPs in the House of Commons to make decisions easily, so he has called the General Election in the hopes he will win more. 

In the area in and around Leeds, all the constituencies have had an MP from the Labour party. The Labour party is one of the two primary political parties, but not the one that’s currently in power. 

To find out more about the General Election, and to follow what happens, take a look at the BBC news website. The BBC also run a website called BBC learn English, which provides great materials for independent learning.