Next United Kingdom general election

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Next United Kingdom general election
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  2019 No later than 2 May 2024

All 650 seats [lower-alpha 1] in the House of Commons
326 seats needed for a majority
PartyLeaderCurrent seats
Conservative Boris Johnson 363
Labour Keir Starmer 199
SNP Nicola Sturgeon 45
Liberal Democrats Ed Davey 12
DUP Jeffrey Donaldson 8
Sinn Féin Mary Lou McDonald 7
Plaid Cymru Adam Price 3
Alba Alex Salmond 2
SDLP Colum Eastwood 2
Green Siân Berry 1
Alliance Naomi Long 1
Independent n/a5
Speaker Lindsay Hoyle 1
Incumbent Prime Minister
Boris Johnson
Conservative

The next United Kingdom general election is scheduled to be held on Thursday 2 May 2024, in line with the Fixed-term Parliaments Act. If held to schedule, it would be the second general election to be held at the end of a fixed-term Parliament, and the first since 2015.

Contents

Background

The result at the last general election and the current situation in the House of Commons is given below:

AffiliationMembers
Elected [1] Current [2]
Conservative [lower-alpha 2] 365363
Labour [lower-alpha 3] 202199
SNP 4845
Liberal Democrats 1112
DUP 88
Sinn Féin 77
Plaid Cymru 43
SDLP 22
Alba 02
Green 11
Alliance 11
Speaker 1 1
Independent 06
Total650
Voting total [lower-alpha 4] 639
Government majority87 [lower-alpha 5] 83 [lower-alpha 6]

For full details of changes during the current Parliament, see Defections and suspensions and By-elections.

Electoral system

Provisionally, the next general election will be conducted using the same electoral system as the 2019 election (first-past-the-post).

The Conservative Party, which won a majority at the 2019 general election, included pledges in its manifesto to remove the fifteen-year limit on voting for British citizens living abroad, and to introduce a voter identification requirement [6] in Great Britain.

Boundary review

In March 2020, Cabinet Office minister Chloe Smith confirmed that the 2023 Periodic Review of Westminster constituencies would commence based on retaining 650 seats. [7] [8] The 2023 Periodic Review of Westminster constituencies began in January 2021 with the previous relevant legislation having been amended by the Parliamentary Constituencies Act 2020. [9]

The postponed Sixth Periodic Review of Westminster constituencies proposed reducing the number of constituencies from 650 to 600. In April 2016, each of the four parliamentary Boundary Commissions of the United Kingdom recommenced their review process. [10] [11] [12] A projection by psephologists Colin Rallings and Michael Thrasher of how the 2017 votes would have translated to seats under the new boundaries suggested the changes would be beneficial to the Conservative Party and detrimental to Labour. [13] [14]

Prior to the Parliamentary Constituencies Act 2020, boundary changes could not be implemented until they were approved by both Houses of Parliament. No changes were submitted by the government during the 2017–2019 Parliament. [15] The majority Conservative government manifesto states that this will be implemented before the next general election.

Date of the election

The Fixed-term Parliaments Act 2011 (FTPA) introduced fixed-term parliaments to the United Kingdom, with elections scheduled on the first Thursday in May of the fifth year after the previous general election, unless the previous general election took place between 1 January and the first Thursday in May, in which case the election takes place on the first Thursday in May of the fourth year after the previous general election. [16]

Removing the power of the monarch, on advice of the prime minister, to dissolve parliament before its five-year maximum length, [16] the act permits early dissolution if the House of Commons votes by a two-thirds supermajority. Parliament is also dissolved if a government loses a vote of no confidence by a simple majority and a new government is not formed within 14 days. [17] Alternatively, a bill requiring just a simple majority in both Houses could be introduced to establish in law an earlier date for the election, which is how the date of the previous general election was set in 2019. [18]

Thus, the next general election is due to take place on Thursday 2 May 2024, unless it is triggered earlier. [19] Under the Electoral Registration and Administration Act 2013 parliament would be dissolved 25 working days before this date on Tuesday 26 March. [20] Under the Fixed-term Parliaments Act, the Prime Minister may schedule polling day up to two months after 2 May, subject to approval by both Houses.

    Proposed repeal of the Fixed-term Parliaments Act

    At the 2019 general election, where the Conservatives won a majority of 80 seats, the manifesto of the party contained a commitment to repeal the Fixed-term Parliaments Act due to "paralysis at a time when the country has needed decisive action". [21] The pledge was confirmed in the first Queen's Speech following the election. [22]

    In December 2020, the government published a draft Fixed-term Parliaments Act 2011 (Repeal) Bill, later retitled the Dissolution and Calling of Parliament Bill when it was laid before Parliament in May 2021, [23] which would ultimately repeal the 2011 Fixed-term Parliaments Act, revive the prerogative powers of the monarch to dissolve Parliament (at the request of the prime minister), and ensure that a Parliament is automatically dissolved five years after it first met (16 December 2024) and polling day being 25 working days later (23 January 2025). [24] The last time Parliament was dissolved in this way for a general election was in 1949, when the 1950 general election was announced for February.

    Opinion polling

    The chart below shows opinion polls conducted for the next United Kingdom general election. The trend lines are local regressions (LOESS).

    Opinion polling for the next United Kingdom general election after 2019 (LOESS).svg

    Notes

    1. Under the Parliamentary Voting System and Constituencies Act 2011 the number of constituencies would have been reduced to 600 following the 2023 Periodic Review of Westminster constituencies. The Parliamentary Constituencies Act 2020 kept the number of constituencies at 650.
    2. Government of the United Kingdom.
    3. Labour, as the largest party not in government, takes the role of Official Opposition. The Co-operative Party is represented in the House of Commons by 25 Labour MPs sitting with the Labour and Co-operative designation. [3]
    4. Sinn Féin (7) abstain, i.e. they do not take their seats in the House of Commons; [4] the Speaker and 3 Deputy Speakers (2 Conservative and 1 Labour) have only a tie-breaking vote constrained by conventions. [5]
    5. The number of voting government MPs less two non-voting deputy speakers (363), minus the sum of all other present MPs less the non-voting Speaker and one deputy speaker (276). [2]
    6. The number of voting government MPs less two non-voting deputy speakers (361), minus the sum of all other present MPs less the non-voting Speaker and one deputy speaker (278).

    Related Research Articles

    House of Commons of the United Kingdom Lower house in the Parliament of the United Kingdom

    The House of Commons is the lower house and de facto primary chamber of the Parliament of the United Kingdom. Like the upper house, the House of Lords, it meets in the Palace of Westminster.

    Scottish Westminster constituencies from 2005

    As a result of the Fifth Periodical Review of the Boundary Commission for Scotland, Scotland is covered by 59 constituencies of the House of Commons of the United Kingdom Parliament - 19 Burgh constituencies and 40 County constituencies. Constituencies marked * appear on the Central Area Enlargement.

    Fixed-term Parliaments Act 2011 United Kingdom legislation

    The Fixed-term Parliaments Act 2011 (FTPA) is an Act of the Parliament of the United Kingdom that for the first time sets in legislation a default fixed election date for a general election to the Westminster parliament. Before the passage of the Act elections were required by law to be held at least once every five years, but could be called earlier if the Prime Minister advised the monarch to exercise the royal prerogative to do so. Prime Ministers often employed this mechanism to call an election before the end of the five-year term, sometimes fairly early in it, and some critics saw this as giving an unfair advantage to an incumbent Prime Minister. An election could also take place following a vote of no confidence in the government: such a motion would be passed with an ordinary simple majority of those voting in the House of Commons and would, according to constitutional convention, force the government to resign, at which point the Prime Minister would generally advise the monarch to call for a new election.

    Sixth Periodic Review of Westminster constituencies

    The Sixth Periodic Review of Westminster constituencies, also known as the 2013 Review, 2018 Review, or just boundary changes, was an ultimately unfruitful cycle of the process by which constituencies of the House of Commons of the United Kingdom are reviewed and redistributed. The four UK boundary commissions carried out their reviews between 2011 and 2018, but their recommendations were not taken up by the government and were formally laid aside in 2020.

    2016 Scottish Parliament election Parliamentary election held in Scotland

    The 2016 Scottish parliament election was held on Thursday, 5 May 2016 to elect 129 members to the Scottish Parliament. It was the fifth election held since the devolved parliament was established in 1999. It was the first parliamentary election in Scotland in which 16 and 17 year olds were eligible to vote, under the provisions of the Scottish Elections Act. It was also the first time the three largest parties were led by women.

    Early Parliamentary General Election Act 2019 United Kingdom legislation

    The Early Parliamentary General Election Act 2019 was an Act of the Parliament of the United Kingdom that made legal provision for the holding of the 2019 United Kingdom General Election on Thursday 12 December 2019.

    References

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    2. 1 2 "State of the parties". parliament.uk. Retrieved 10 May 2021.
    3. "About the Party". Co-operative Party . Retrieved 22 February 2019.
    4. Kelly, Conor (19 August 2019). "Understanding Sinn Féin's Abstention from the UK Parliament". E-International Relations. Retrieved 16 December 2019.
    5. Boothroyd, David. "House of Commons: Tied Divisions". United Kingdom Election Results. Retrieved 25 July 2018.
    6. "Our Plan - Conservative Manifesto 2019". Conservative Party. Retrieved 17 December 2019.
    7. "Correspondence with Chloe Smith MP" (PDF). parliament.uk.
    8. Proctor, Kate (26 March 2020). "MPs no longer to get automatic vote on constituency boundary plans". The Guardian. ISSN   0261-3077.
    9. "Parliamentary Constituencies Act". legislation.gov.uk. Retrieved 17 December 2020.
    10. "Boundary review launched". Boundary Commission for England. 24 February 2016. Retrieved 30 October 2019.
    11. "2018 Review of Westminster Parliamentary constituencies". Boundary Commission for Scotland. Retrieved 30 October 2019.
    12. "2018 Review". Boundary Commission for Wales. Retrieved 30 October 2019.
    13. "Ian Jones on Twitter". Twitter. 10 September 2018. Retrieved 30 October 2019.
    14. "New parliamentary map would have given Tories a majority of 16 at last election". ITV News. 10 September 2018. Retrieved 30 October 2019.
    15. Johnston, Ron; Pattie, Charles; Rossiter, David (30 April 2019). "Boundaries in limbo: why the government cannot decide how many MPs there should be". LSE British Politics and Policy. London School of Economics . Retrieved 30 October 2019.
    16. 1 2 Horne, Alexander; Kelly, Richard (19 November 2014). "Alexander Horne and Richard Kelly: Prerogative powers and the Fixed-term Parliaments Act". ukconstitutionallaw.org. UK Constitutional Law Association. Retrieved 30 October 2019.
    17. "House of Commons Debate 5 July 2010 c 23". parliament.uk. UK Parliament. 5 July 2010. Retrieved 30 October 2019.
    18. "MPs back December election". 29 October 2019. Retrieved 30 October 2019.
    19. Tuft, Ben (8 May 2015). "When will the next UK General Election be held?". The Independent. Retrieved 30 October 2019.
    20. "General election timetable 2015". parliament.uk. UK Parliament . Retrieved 30 October 2019.
    21. Kettle, Martin (12 December 2019). "If the exit poll is right, this election will transform British politics". The Guardian. Retrieved 13 December 2019.
    22. "Full transcript: The Queen's Speech". The Spectator. 19 December 2019. Retrieved 19 December 2019.
    23. "Dissolution and Calling of Parliament Bill". parliament.uk. Retrieved 12 May 2021.
    24. "Government to fulfil manifesto commitment and scrap Fixed-term Parliaments Act". GOV.UK. 1 December 2020. Retrieved 6 December 2020.