Dogs at polling stations: The 2019 ‘Christmas Election’ special

There's no getting away from it: elections are depressing. Thankfully, the dog-owning voters of Britain are on-hand to make it a bit more fun. Alexandra Fraser and Toby Keel round up the best of them.

Nobody is quite sure where or when the whole ‘dogs at polling stations’ phenomenon started, but on a gloomy December day we’re very glad of it to inject a bit of sunshine.

Kelly Frith's Nero

Two-year-old Nero looks like he’s suffering a similar level of existential crisis to the rest of us.

turtle - Annie's cousin

Turtle, cousin to our property editor Annunciata Elwes, hasn’t brought his polling card but defies you to turn him away at the door (remember, you don’t need your polling card to vote!).

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parsley elwes

Parsley, Country Life’s resident pug and cousin to Turtle, looks entirely dashing as he steps up to cast his vote into the mix.

We’re so glad that Imogen Taylor’s wonderful Cookie cheered up some people in the queues this morning!

cleo - Rosie paterson dog

Travel Editor Rosie Paterson’s dog Cleo looks like she knows who he’s voting for.

16-year-old Cleo, pictured with Travel Editor Rosie Paterson’s mum, actually made it into the polling station itself – we can only imagine in some sort of handbag.


Rosie Stimson, beloved lab of local councillor Donna Stimson (and Social Media / Deputy Digital Editor Ally Fraser) is very concerned about biodiversity in Berkshire and wants new places to play – although that doesn’t stop her from jumping in at the same spot on the Thames every single day. In mid-winter.

Basil, polling station dog

Basil, beloved by Annabel Mackie, is eyeing up the weather as suspiciously as he ought to, given the gale coming our way.

Dolly, owned by Country Life's deputy features editor Victoria Marston, votes bright and early on Thursday.

Dolly, owned by Country Life’s deputy features editor Victoria Marston, votes bright and early on Thursday.

Rich, below, and our deputy features editor Victoria Marston (whose dog Dolly is pictured above) showed how it’s done with early-morning snaps.

There’s something noble about Rich’s pooch – he definitely knows how important his vote is.

Standing proud, Rox has got a decent Instagram following of her own, but luckily her Mum decided to share this one of her voting today.

Eddie Pollock, just back from voting for Alex Chalk, Cheltenham

No guesses who Eddie (dog of Octavia Pollock, Senior Sub-Editor at Country Life) voted for!

A quick dash out in the rain for Frida and Diego in the South Downs!

Mickey, a very handsome boy, clearly wants to get a move on to exercise his democratic right.

jerry polling station dog

Jerry, the lovely greyhound of Rachael Turner, is decidedly less than thrilled at his position in this photo – we’ve been assured that he’s currently inside once more and warm!

For this year, turnout has been predicted to be low due to a combination of cold weather and election fatigue. Nobody told the dogs of Dulwich that, as they turned up en masse.

Love the look on that little guy at the bottom — he looks like he’s been up all night fretting on the Corbyn v Johnson conundrum.

Speaking of election fatigue, though, not everyone seems to be delighted about another poll taking place:

A dog urinates against a polling station sign as voters in Hartlepool head to the polls during polling day for the 2019 general election on December 12, 2019 in Hartlepool.

Others are full of enthusiasm:

Always nice to see a first-timer. He’ll come to look forward to what was once an every-five-years thing but which is now probably going to be an annual ritual. Especially if the last few polls of Wednesday are to be believed.

Speaking of what might happen in the election itself, tactical voting may play a part — and the dogs are helping spread that message too.

Some of the dogs and their owners clearly had more serious things on their minds than which fancy dress to wear:

Those who don’t have dogs tried to find other ways to get involved:

And finally, the #dogsatpollingstations movement — if that’s the right word — is now so popular that other animals are trying to get in on the act:

That’s right — a sly fox.


Finally, here’s dear Bentley, John Malone’s dog. John voted by postal vote but Bentley made his opinions known by throwing up outside the polling station this morning. Oh dear.