The UK is heading to the polls on 7 May. Ahead of the big day, here's a handy explainer on everything you need to know about the general election.

The election will be held on Thursday 7 May, with all eligible voters across the country able to choose which candidate they want as a Member of Parliament in their constituency.

Polling stations are open on the day from 7am – 10pm, but you can vote by post or by proxy if you've registered to do so beforehand.

The UK is divided into 650 constituencies. The winner in each constituency becomes its representative in parliament, an MP. This system is called, 'First Past the Post'.

After all the votes are counted, whichever party forms a majority of MPs is invited by the Queen to form a government.

If there is a hung Parliament with no clear winner, like there was at the last election in 2010, then a minority or coalition government of two or more parties may be created.