Next United Kingdom general election


The next United Kingdom general election is scheduled to be held on Thursday 2 May 2024, in line with the Fixed-term Parliaments Act. It will elect the 59th Parliament of the United Kingdom since the 1801 co-option of the Parliaments of Great Britain and Ireland. This will be the first general election after the United Kingdom has left the European Union on 31 January 2020.

Next United Kingdom general election

 2019 No later than 2 May 2024 Next 

All 650 seats[lower-alpha 1] in the House of Commons.
326 seats needed for a majority
Party Leader Current seats
Conservative Boris Johnson 364
Labour Keir Starmer 202
SNP Nicola Sturgeon 48
Liberal Democrats TBD 11
DUP Arlene Foster 8
Sinn Féin Mary Lou McDonald 7
Plaid Cymru Adam Price 3
SDLP Colum Eastwood 2
Green Jonathan Bartley
& Siân Berry
1
Alliance Naomi Long 1
Independent n/a 2
Speaker Lindsay Hoyle 1
Incumbent Prime Minister
Boris Johnson
Conservative

Background


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

Affiliation Members
Elected[1] Current
Conservative[lower-alpha 2] 365 364
Labour[lower-alpha 3] 202 202
SNP 48 48
Liberal Democrats 11 11
DUP 8 8
Sinn Féin 7 7
Plaid Cymru 4 3
SDLP 2 2
Green 1 1
Alliance 1 1
  The Speaker 1 1
Independent 0 2
Total 650
Voting total[lower-alpha 4] 639
Government majority[lower-alpha 5] 85 83

For full details of changes during the 58th 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[5] in Great Britain.

Boundary review

In March 2020, Cabinet Office MP Chloe Smith confirmed that the 2021 Periodic Review of Westminster constituencies would commence based on retaining 650 seats.[6][7] The 2021 Periodic Review of Westminster constituencies will begin in 2021 with the existing relevant legislation amended by the Parliamentary Constituencies Bill 2019-21.

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.[8][9][10] 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.[11][12]

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.[13] 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.[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.

    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".[19] The pledge was confirmed in the first Queen's Speech following the election.[20] However, as the FTPA repealed the previous legislation in relation to limited term parliaments, further legislation would be required to set out how long parliaments should last.[21]

    Opinion polling


    Notes


    1. Current law and the current boundary review would reduce this to 600 seats. The Parliamentary Constituencies Bill 2019-21 would prevent this and is currently progressing through Parliament.
    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 26 Labour MPs sitting with the Labour and Co-operative designation.[2]
    4. Sinn Féin (7) abstain, i.e. they do not take their seats in the House of Commons;[3] the Speaker and 3 Deputy Speakers (2 Conservative and 1 Labour) have only a tie-breaking vote constrained by conventions,[4]
    5. This is the number of voting government MPs (Elected: 365, Current: 364) less the sum of all other voting MPs (Elected: 276, Current: 277).[3]

    References


    1. "Results of the 2019 General Election". BBC News. Retrieved 14 December 2019.
    2. "About the Party". Co-operative Party. Retrieved 22 February 2019.
    3. Kelly, Conor (19 August 2019). "Understanding Sinn Féin's Abstention from the UK Parliament". E-International Relations. Retrieved 16 December 2019.
    4. Boothroyd, David. "House of Commons: Tied Divisions". United Kingdom Election Results. Retrieved 25 July 2018.
    5. "Our Plan - Conservative Manifesto 2019". Conservative Party. Retrieved 17 December 2019.
    6. "Correspondence with Chloe Smith MP" (PDF). parliament.uk.
    7. Proctor, Kate (26 March 2020). "MPs no longer to get automatic vote on constituency boundary plans". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077.
    8. "Boundary review launched". Boundary Commission for England. 24 February 2016. Retrieved 30 October 2019.
    9. "2018 Review of Westminster Parliamentary constituencies". Boundary Commission for Scotland. Retrieved 30 October 2019.
    10. "2018 Review". Boundary Commission for Wales. Retrieved 30 October 2019.
    11. "Ian Jones on Twitter". Twitter. 10 September 2018. Retrieved 30 October 2019.
    12. "New parliamentary map would have given Tories a majority of 16 at last election". ITV News. 10 September 2018. Retrieved 30 October 2019.
    13. 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.
    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.
    19. Kettle, Martin (12 December 2019). "If the exit poll is right, this election will transform British politics". The Guardian. Retrieved 13 December 2019.
    20. "Full transcript: The Queen's Speech". The Spectator. 19 December 2019. Retrieved 19 December 2019.
    21. Norton, Philip (8 October 2016). "Repealing the Fixed-term Parliaments Act?". The Norton View. Retrieved 18 December 2019.