Nearly 50 million people are registered to vote in this year's election and will be casting votes at around 50,000 polling stations around the country. Six-hundred and fifty Westminster MPs are set to be elected.

In the general election, more than 9000 seats are being challenged throughout the 279 English local authorities. Voters will also elect new Mayors in Bedford, Leicester, Copeland, Torbay and Middlesbrough. Polls will be open at 7am BST.

In all areas except London where there is no local election, voters will receive at least two ballot papers as they enter their local polling station.

This year, with the weather as warm and sunny as it has been, poll officials are hoping a record number of voters will be in attendance to cast their ballots.

It's all about location

This year marks the first year that people have been able to register online to vote. Many postal votes, which have had a great impact on previous voting years, have already been cast this year. A school bus will be used as a polling station as well as the regular stations located typically in schools, parish halls and community centres as well as other locations including pubs and even a launderette this year.

Polls will close at 10pm BST, but authorities have said that any person already inside a polling station at this time should still be able to cast their vote in the election.

By midnight, it is expected that many seats will already be announced. Final poll results may take well into Friday afternoon.

Why vote on Thursday?

People often wonder why elections are always held on Thursdays. It is not a legal requirement although they have always been held on the first Thursday of May every five years.

Some have claimed that it began as a way to deter people being too drunk to vote as people were not paid until Friday, although there is officially no reason listed that would substantiate that claim. Only one election in recorded history has not been held on a Thursday and that was the election held on Tuesday, October 27, 1931.

Regardless of the reason for voting on Thursday, polls will be open from 7am BST until 10pm BST and results will be announced as quickly as possible once votes have been counted.