The trend of taking pets to vote in the UK

Many Britons take their dogs, snakes, turtles, and even horses to polling stations—a tradition deeply ingrained in the country’s election day culture.

On July 4th, millions of British voters began casting their ballots for the parliamentary elections, and a significant number brought their pets along to the polling stations. The hashtag #Dogsatpollingstations has become a familiar sight on social media whenever the UK holds elections.

Animal-loving voters in the UK frequently bring their pets, with dogs and cats being the most common companions. However, more exotic pets like parrots, turtles, and ferrets also make an appearance at these voting venues.

This movement is so widespread that nearly all polling stations in the UK have designated areas with clear signage where voters can secure their pets before heading in to cast their votes.
After fulfilling their civic duty, many Britons snap photos with their pets at these spots and share them on social media.
On July 4th, the BBC reported that numerous voters arrived at polling stations accompanied by dogs, snakes, turtles, and even horses. One voter in Ropley, Alresford, turned heads by cycling to the polls with a pack of dozens of dogs trailing behind.

This election has seen British voters usher in a new political era by propelling Labour candidates to a parliamentary majority, thereby enabling the formation of a new government and ending 14 years of Conservative rule. Observers attribute this shift to voters’ frustration with soaring living costs and internal strife within the Conservative Party, which significantly contributed to their defeat.

According to VOX, the trend of taking pets to polling stations gained traction in the UK following the 2016 Brexit referendum.

In 2019, former Prime Minister Boris Johnson also embraced this activity by bringing his beloved dog, Dilyn, to a polling station in London. He later shared posts with the hashtag #Dogsatpollingstations on social media, adding to the movement’s popularity.