Dogs At Polling Stations: The Pups Having Their Say In The General Election · The Wildest

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#DogsAtPollingStations Are Taking Their Pet Parents To Vote

Number one concern? The cheese tax

by Jess Commons and Orla Pentelow
3 July 2024
Labrador outside polling station in the sun
Courtesy of Lynsey Beekmeyer

As the UK comes together to vote in the general election, it’s once again time for a great British tradition to take place. That’s right, Dogs At Polling Stations is back and it’s taking over social media.

For those outside the UK, allow us to explain. Nine years ago, in the midst of a very depressing general election, some bright spark posted a picture of their pup next to their local polling station after popping in to cast their vote. Using the X (formally known as Twitter) hashtag #DogsAtPollingStations, the meme took flight. And boy, did it soar. It took us through the (also depressing) 2019 election and countless other local elections.

Horses For Causes had a brief go at stealing the spotlight a couple years back but ultimately, Dogs At Polling Stations has reigned supreme. There’s an official Dogs At Polling Stations X account and it was even named as one of the most influential hashtags by The Independent on the social media platform’s tenth birthday. Now, at what looks set to be the UK's most pivotal election in over a decade, pups and their parents have come back to have their democratic say in the governing of the country.

In the US, generally only service dogs are allowed to accompany their pet parents to vote (it’s best to check in with the Department of Elections by state for the rules where you live), but in the UK, the rules are a little more relaxed. Generally, dogs are allowed to come with you to polling stations but they are not usually allowed to come inside, according to guidance from the Electoral Commission (unless they are a service dog). This means that if you if you don’t have a friend or family member to mind your dog whilst you practise your democratic right, it’s best to leave them at home.

If this is the case, never fear, there’s plenty of pups that did make it down to their local polling stations to cast their vote. Here’s a few of our faves.

Murphy

Like most Labs, Murphy’s main concern this election is the cheese tax.

Labrador at polling station
Courtesy of Lynsey Beekmeyer

Rua

With eyes like that, Rua is clearly going for the pup-ular vote.

Cockerpoo at polling station
Courtesy of Andrew Keenan

Muffin

Patiently waiting to see what new paw-licies will be coming into place.

Lionel

Lionel the Iggy is wondering who will be in Number 10 after Sniffi Sunak.

Dexter

Dexter has his ears to the ground for any clues as to who is ahead in the polls.

Annie

Galgo Español Annie is certainly ahead in the race for top cutie patootie.

Denby

Border Collie Denby keeping an eye out for any lost voters he need to round up.

Robbie

Rescue pup Robbie voting for the ‘Grey’ party on the morning of election day.

Marshie

The Right Honourable Marshall Fluffington smiling for democracy!

Silk

Silk says don’t forget your ID, you’ll need it to vote for who will be next in Woof-minster.

Hemmingway

Hemmingway the Pug has a very ‘Ernest’ way of getting to and from the polling station.

Parker

Parker – a true man of the people – exercising his democratic right to vote (for belly rubs).

Dog at polling station
Courtesy of Clementine Parker

Ralph

Ralph is thinking about how im-paw-tant it is to cast your vote today (and definitely not thinking about treats).

girl with blonde hair with ginger cat on her lap

Jess Commons

Jess is a writer, editor and former global lifestyle director at Refinery29 with previous stints at ITV, Grazia, The Debrief (RIP) and more. She is a sucker for an older gentleman cat with A Past and spends most of her time being told what to do by her toddler and her three-legged rescue cat, Mac.

Orla Pentelow

Orla Pentelow is a freelance journalist and copywriter based in London. When not at her desk she’s out and about with her rescue dog, Luna, who works primarily as chief distractor.


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