Under section 38(2) of the Gibraltar Constitution Order 2006, the parliament must be dissolved by the Governor four years after its first meeting following the last election (unless the Chief Minister advises the Governor to dissolve parliament sooner). Under section 37 of the Constitution, writs for a general election must be issued within thirty days of the dissolution and the general election must then be held no later than three months after the issuing of a writ.
The first meeting of the current parliament took place on 21 December 2011, meaning parliament must be dissolved by midnight on 20 December 2015, writs must be issued by 19 January 2016 and an election must take place before 19 April 2016. However, if recent precedent is followed, the Chief Minister is likely to ask the Governor for an early dissolution and an election to take place sometime by December 2015 (four years after the last election). Following the British tradition, elections conventionally take place on a Thursday.
1 These figures have been consolidated by party. Under the Gibraltar electoral system, all candidates are listed on the ballot paper individually. 2 Every voter has up to 10 votes to vote for their choice from all the candidates standing. Accordingly although there are more seats available, the main parties field 10 candidates and hope to secure 'block votes'. Thus the total of 174,757 votes comes from 21,712 voters, an 81.4% turnout of the electorate.