Next United Kingdom general election

The Next United Kingdom general election is by default scheduled to be held on Thursday 2 May 2024, in line with the Fixed-term Parliament Act. It will elect the next Parliament of the United Kingdom.

Next United Kingdom general election

To be held on or before 2 May 2024

All seats in the House of Commons, currently 650, will be contested
326 seats needed for a majority
Party Leader Current seats
Conservative Boris Johnson 365
Labour TBD 202
SNP Nicola Sturgeon 48
Liberal Democrats TBD 11
DUP Arlene Foster 8
Sinn Féin Mary Lou McDonald 7
Plaid Cymru Adam Price 4
SDLP Colum Eastwood 2
Green Jonathan Bartley & Siân Berry 1
Alliance Naomi Long 1
Speaker Lindsay Hoyle 1
Incumbent Prime Minister
Boris Johnson
Conservative
2015 election MPs
2017 election MPs
2019 election MPs

Electoral system

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

Changes to the electoral system were official party policy of various parties competing in the 2019 election. These included electoral reform towards a more proportional system being party policy for the Scottish National Party,[1] the Liberal Democrats[2] and several smaller parties, and an extension of the franchise to all UK residents being current Labour Party policy.[3]

Boundary review

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.[4][5][6] 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.[7][8]

Boundary changes cannot be implemented until they are approved by both Houses of Parliament. No changes were submitted by the government during the 2017–2019 Parliament.[9] The majority Conservative government manifesto states that this will be implemented before the next Election.

Proposed repeal of the Fixed Term Parliament Act

The Conservative Party manifesto at the 2017 general election proposed repealing the Fixed-term Parliaments Act 2011.[10] However, Theresa May's government failed to win a House of Commons majority at that election and did not attempt to repeal the act.[11]

At the 2019 UK General Election, where the Conservatives won a strong majority of 80 seats, the manifesto of the party contained a commitment to repeal the Fixed Terms Parliament Act due to "paralysis at a time when the country has needed decisive action". [12]

However, repealing the act would be problematic as the FTPA has repealed all previous legislation in relation to limited term parliaments, meaning that further legislation would be required to set out how long parliaments should last for.[13]

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.[14]

Removing the power of the monarch, on advice of the prime minister, to dissolve parliament before its five-year maximum length,[14] 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.[15] 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.[16]

Thus, the next general election is due to take place on Thursday 2 May 2024, unless it is triggered earlier.[17] Under the Electoral Registration and Administration Act 2013 parliament would be dissolved 25 working days before this date on Monday 26 March 2024.[18] Under the Fixed-term Parliaments Act, the Prime Minister may schedule polling day up to two months after 2 May 2024, subject to approval by both Houses.

    Opinion polling

    References

    1. "Constitution". Our Vision. Scottish National Party. Retrieved 8 November 2019.
    2. "Constitutional & Political Reform". Liberal Democrats. 1 July 2019. Retrieved 1 November 2019.
    3. Perraudin, Frances (25 September 2019). "Labour members back proposal to give all UK residents voting rights". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved 1 November 2019.
    4. "Boundary review launched". Boundary Commission for England. 24 February 2016. Retrieved 30 October 2019.
    5. "2018 Review of Westminster Parliamentary constituencies". Boundary Commission for Scotland. Retrieved 30 October 2019.
    6. "2018 Review". Boundary Commission for Wales. Retrieved 30 October 2019.
    7. "Ian Jones on Twitter". Twitter. 10 September 2018. Retrieved 30 October 2019.
    8. "New parliamentary map would have given Tories a majority of 16 at last election". ITV News. 10 September 2018. Retrieved 30 October 2019.
    9. 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.
    10. Conservative Party 2017 manifesto, p. 43
    11. "Fixed-term Parliaments Act: What is it and why does it matter?". 26 June 2017. Retrieved 4 May 2019.
    12. Kettle, Martin (12 December 2019). "If the exit poll is right, this election will transform British politics". The Guardian. Retrieved 13 December 2019.
    13. Repealing the fixed term parliament act
    14. 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.
    15. "House of Commons Debate 5 July 2010 c 23". parliament.uk. UK Parliament. 5 July 2010. Retrieved 30 October 2019.
    16. "MPs back December election". 29 October 2019. Retrieved 30 October 2019.
    17. Tuft, Ben (8 May 2015). "When will the next UK General Election be held?". The Independent. Retrieved 30 October 2019.
    18. "General election timetable 2015". parliament.uk. UK Parliament. Retrieved 30 October 2019.
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