Skip To Content

    Today's Elections Explained For People Who Haven't Been Paying Attention

    There are elections all across the UK today, so we googled some things for you.

    Perhaps you've heard your friends talking about how there are lots of elections taking place all over the UK on Thursday.

    Fox / BuzzFeed

    Or maybe you haven't, because your friends are cool.

    That's because it's time to make some boring but important decisions about local British politics.


    Like who should replace this elegant gentleman as mayor of London.

    OK, but guess what? London isn't the only part of the UK, prick.

    BBC Two

    There's plenty of other non-London things going on, literally everywhere else.

    Scotland is electing a new parliament, and the SNP are expected to win everything, always, forever, till all the eye can see is great fields of yellow SNP rosettes stretching far into the distance of the majestic Scottish wilderness and into eternity.

    Late drama in the Holyrood election as the SNP slump to a 28 point lead.

    However there IS a small chance that the Scottish Conservatives will fare better than Labour, due in no small part to the fact that their leader, Ruth Davidson, scored this sweet penalty.

    Ruth Davidson just demanded a Hamilton youth coach goes in goal so she can hit a proper penalty #SP16

    What have Scottish Labour ever done?

    Anyway, let's take a closer look at these lads, the main contenders for mayor of London.

    Chris Ratcliffe / Getty Images

    As you can see, one is a big one and one is a little one, and both are boys.

    First up there's the Conservative candidate, Zac Goldsmith, seen here about to be hit by a bus.

    Ben Pruchnie / Getty Images

    Outta the way, Zac!

    Throughout the campaign, Zac did some embarrassing-ass dad shit, like this.

    Zac Goldsmith: I *Love* Bollywood films Interviewer: oh cool, what's your fave? Zac: *Fails to name a single film*

    And also this, when he completely bombed a series of trivia questions about London facts, like what comes after Tottenham Court Road on the Central line.

    BBC / BuzzFeed

    He was trailing by nine points in a poll on the eve of the election. 👎 🏻👎 🏻👎🏻

    Adrian Dennis / AFP / Getty Images

    Even so, he said in an interview with LBC that he still hoped to "do a bit of a Leicester City, zoom in from behind and win", which is not even close to what Leicester City actually did, so RIP Zac Goldsmith, I guess.

    Then there's Labour's Sadiq Khan. Have you heard he's the son of a bus driver? It's kind of his thing.

    As Mayor, I’ll be the bus driver’s son who makes commuting more affordable.

    In fact it was his bus driver father who decided to name him Sadiq Son of a Bus Driver Khan, which has worked out really well for him politically, it turns out.

    The Tories have been saying Khan – who would be London's first Muslim mayor – is "quite dangerous", which lots of people have been very 😒 at.

    Carl Court / Getty Images

    In fact, it's been so off-putting that even some Tory-voting Muslims have been like, 😒 😒 😒 .

    Of course there is at least one real threat to London if Sadiq were elected.

    If Sadiq Khan wins London, I will run naked down Regent Street with a sausage up my bum in protest #LondonMayor2016


    But Labour and the Conservatives are of course not the only parties with candidates for mayor! There are also the Greens, whose candidate, Sian Berry, is pictured here with her supporters.

    Veselovaelena / Getty Images

    There's also Sophie Walker, the candidate for the Women's Equality party, a brand-new party that panders to a tiny minority of voters: women.

    Chris Ratcliffe / Getty Images

    Britain's sweetheart George Galloway is also standing for mayor for the wildly popular and much-respected Respect Party.

    I'm standing for Mayor of London 2016. If you can help in any way, write to me at

    He's polling at less than 1%, but, like, you never know!

    And there's also this other party, the "Liberal Democrats", but nobody has ever met them and we cannot confirm that they or their candidate, Caroline Pidgeon, actually exist.

    Matt Cardy / Getty Images

    That not enough candidates for you? Don't worry, there are more!

    Meanwhile in Wales, two dragons do a great battle.


    It's a "battle for second place" in the Welsh assembly elections between the Conservatives and Plaid Cymru – while Labour has a comfortable lead.

    Northern Ireland also has assembly elections, but with completely different political parties to the rest of the UK, because ~~ history ~~.


    Also, they don't form governments in the same way – lots of different parties get to have ministers in the executive, where they have to work together even if they kind of hate each other, which is all very grown up, in an awkward dinner party sort of way.

    The two biggest parties are the DUP (who are unionists) and Sinn Féin (who really, really aren't unionists). That probably won't change, so they'll get to spend five more years running Northern Ireland together in joyous harmony.

    ALSO, all over Britain there will be elections to local councils, a noble democratic exercise to pick the heroes who will defend political interests a bit closer to home.

    Twitter: @search

    (Maybe they should take their rubbish and................bury it.)

    BUT WAIT, THERE'S MORE! There are also police and crime commissioner elections. You are too bored by this point to learn more, so here's a great crime-fighting Tumblr dog.

    Also, Bristol and Liverpool are electing new mayors, yay, and London is electing a new assembly, yay, wow, isn't democracy grand!

    OK, at this point maybe you're wondering, "But what can *I* vote for, I only care about MYSELF, I'm such a millennial, me me me me!"

    CBS / Via

    Wow, you're such a CLASSIC millennial, or older self-absorbed person.

    Luckily you can use the hip young right-on technology of this fancy tool to put in your postcode and find out exactly what elections you're up against.

    And by NOW you must be asking yourself, "When will I know what election result things have happened????????????????????"


    For some of these elections, the results trickle in all the way till Sunday, though you should find out most of the Scottish and Welsh results overnight, if you stay up like a nerrrrrd.

    For the London election, you'll know some time in the evening on Friday, because Londoners are too lazy to start counting until the next morning.

    Anyway, that's how you do a local democracy.

    BuzzFeed Daily

    Keep up with the latest daily buzz with the BuzzFeed Daily newsletter!

    Newsletter signup form