Next United Kingdom general election

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Next United Kingdom general election
United Kingdom
← 2017 On or before 5 May 2022

All 650 seats in the House of Commons[n 1]
326 seats needed for a majority
Opinion polls
  Theresa May Jeremy Corbyn Nicola Sturgeon
Leader Theresa May Jeremy Corbyn Nicola Sturgeon
Party Conservative Labour SNP
Leader since 11 July 2016 12 September 2015 14 November 2014
Leader's seat Maidenhead Islington North none[n 2]
Last election 317 seats, 42.3%[n 4] 262 seats, 40.0% 35 seats, 3.0%
Seats needed Increase 10 Increase 64 N/A[n 3]

  Vince Cable Arlene Foster Gerry Adams 2016 (infobox).jpg
Leader Vince Cable Arlene Foster Gerry Adams
Party Liberal Democrat DUP Sinn Féin
Leader since 20 July 2017 17 December 2015 13 November 1983
Leader's seat Twickenham none[n 7] none[n 5]
Last election 12 seats, 7.4% 10 seats, 0.9% 7 seats, 0.8%
Seats needed Increase 314 N/A[n 6] N/A[n 6]

Incumbent Prime Minister

Theresa May

2010 election MPs
2015 election MPs
2017 election MPs

The next general election in the United Kingdom is scheduled to be held on 5 May 2022 under the Fixed-term Parliaments Act 2011. The election may be held at an earlier date in the event of an early election motion being passed by a super-majority of two-thirds in the House of Commons, a vote of no confidence in the government or other exceptional circumstances.

Under the current Brexit timetable, and should no snap election be called, it is scheduled to be the first general election since 1970 to be held with the United Kingdom outside the European Union (since 1993) and its predecessor the European Communities, which the United Kingdom voted to stay part of in 1975, having joined in 1973.

Electoral system[edit]

Each parliamentary constituency of the United Kingdom elects one MP to the House of Commons using the "first past the post" system.

Voting eligibility[edit]

In order to vote in the general election, one must be:[1][2]

  • on the Electoral Register;
  • aged 18 or over on polling day;
  • a British, Irish or Commonwealth citizen;
  • a resident at an address in the United Kingdom (or a British citizen living abroad who has been registered to vote in the UK in the last 15 years);[n 8] and
  • not legally excluded from voting (for example a convicted person detained in prison or a mental hospital, or unlawfully at large if he/she would otherwise have been detained,[3] or a person found guilty of certain corrupt or illegal practices[4]) or disqualified from voting (peers sitting in the House of Lords).[5][6]

Individuals must be registered to vote by midnight twelve working days before polling day.[7] Anyone who qualifies as an anonymous elector has until midnight six working days before polling day to register.[n 9] A person who has two homes (such as a university student who has a term-time address and lives at home during holidays) may be able to register to vote at both addresses as long as they are not in the same electoral area, but can only vote in one constituency at the general election.[9]

Boundary review[edit]

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 the review process, to be implemented in 2018.[10][11][12]

Date of the election[edit]

The Fixed-term Parliaments Act 2011 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.[13]

This removed the power of the monarch, acting on the advice of the Prime Minister, to dissolve Parliament before its five-year maximum length, except in specific circumstances.[13] The Act permits early dissolution if the House of Commons votes by a supermajority of two thirds; by this method the previous general election, originally scheduled for May 2020, was brought forward to June 2017.

A government can still lose a vote of no confidence by a majority of just over 50%, requiring it to resign. Parliament is then dissolved if no new government can be formed within 14 days of the no confidence vote.[14]

Should these circumstances not occur, the election is due to take place on 5 May 2022.[15] Under Section 14 of the Electoral Registration and Administration Act 2013, the current Parliament will be dissolved twenty five working days before this,[16] so that, assuming that Good Friday, Easter Monday and the first Monday in May are public holidays in 2022 (as they have been for many years), the date of dissolution will be Monday 28 March 2022.

The Prime Minister has the power, by order made by Statutory Instrument under section 1(5) of the Fixed-term Parliaments Act 2011, to provide that the polling day is to be held up to two months later than 5 May 2022. Such a Statutory Instrument must be approved by each House of Parliament. Furthermore, individual constituencies may be obliged to delay their elections. In each of the 2005 and 2010 general elections, one constituency delayed its poll due to the death of a candidate.[17]

The Conservative Party manifesto at the 2017 general election proposed repealing the Fixed-term Parliaments Act 2011.[18]


There is speculation concerning the date of the next election. For example, Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn[19], as well as a national organiser of Momentum[20], Business Insider[21] and the think tank Constitution Unit[22] have mentioned the possibility, or even probability, of going to the polls again within the months following the June election.

A YouGov poll was held on 9th and 10th of June on the idea of having a fresh election in the autumn. The idea was supported by 43% of those polled and opposed by 38%.[23]

Contesting political parties and candidates[edit]

Most candidates are representatives of a political party, which must be registered with the Electoral Commission's Register of Political Parties. Candidates who do not belong to a registered party can use an "independent" label, or no label at all.

The Conservative Party and Labour Party have been the two biggest political parties, and have supplied every Prime Minister, since 1922 (with the exception of Ramsay MacDonald, who served as Prime Minister from 1931 to 1935 as a member of the National Labour Organisation).

Parties in the tables below are sorted by their results in the 2017 general election.

The leader of the party commanding a majority of support in the House of Commons is the person who is called on by the monarch to form a government as Prime Minister, while the leader of the largest party not in government becomes the Leader of the Opposition. Other parties also form shadow ministerial teams. The leaders of the SNP and Plaid Cymru are not members of parliament, but instead members of their respective devolved legislatures, and so these parties have separate leaders in the House of Commons (Ian Blackford for the SNP and Liz Saville Roberts in the case of Plaid Cymru).

Party Party leader(s) Leader since Leader's seat Last election
 % of
Conservative Party May, TheresaTheresa May July 2016 Maidenhead 42.3% 317
Labour Party Corbyn, JeremyJeremy Corbyn September 2015 Islington North 40.0% 262
Scottish National Party Sturgeon, NicolaNicola Sturgeon November 2014 None[n 10] 3.0% 35
Liberal Democrats Cable, VinceVince Cable July 2017 Twickenham 7.4% 12
Plaid Cymru Wood, LeanneLeanne Wood March 2012 None[n 11] 0.5% 4
Green Party of England and Wales Lucas, CarolineCaroline Lucas
Bartley, JonathanJonathan Bartley
September 2016 Brighton Pavilion
1.6% 1

Tim Farron announced his departure as Liberal Democrat leader shortly after the June 2017 election, staying on in a caretaker basis pending the Liberal Democrats leadership election. He was replaced by Vince Cable.

Northern Ireland

Northern Ireland has a different party system to the rest of the union.

Party Leader(s) Leader since Leader's seat Last election
(in NI)
Democratic Unionist Party Foster, ArleneArlene Foster December 2015 None[n 7] 36.0% 10
Sinn Féin Adams, GerryGerry Adams November 1983 None[n 5] 29.4% 7
Social Democratic and Labour Party Eastwood, ColumColum Eastwood November 2015 None[n 12] 11.7% 0
Ulster Unionist Party Swann, RobinRobin Swann April 2017 None[n 13] 10.3% 0
Alliance Party of Northern Ireland Long, NaomiNaomi Long October 2016 None[n 14] 7.9% 0

Opinion polling and seat projections[edit]

Opinion polls have been carried out for the next United Kingdom general election.


  1. ^ The Sixth Periodic Review of Westminster constituencies is currently due to be implemented in 2018 and would reduce the number of seats to 600.
  2. ^ Nicola Sturgeon sits as an MSP in the Scottish Parliament.
  3. ^ Party only stands in Scotland.
  4. ^ Seat figure does not include Speaker of the House of Commons John Bercow, who is included in the Conservative seat total by some media outlets.
  5. ^ a b Gerry Adams sits as a TD in the Irish Dáil Éireann.
  6. ^ a b Party only stands in Northern Ireland.
  7. ^ a b Arlene Foster sits as an MLA in the Northern Ireland Assembly for Fermanagh and South Tyrone.
  8. ^ Or, in the case of a British citizen who moved abroad before the age of 18, if his/her parent/guardian was on the Electoral Register in the UK in the last 15 years
  9. ^ The deadline for the receipt and determination of anonymous electoral registration applications is one working day before the publication date of the notice of alteration to the Electoral Register (that is the sixth working day before polling day).[8]
  10. ^ Nicola Sturgeon sits as an MSP in the Scottish Parliament for Glasgow Southside.
  11. ^ Leanne Wood sits as an AM in the Welsh Assembly for the Rhondda.
  12. ^ Colum Eastwood sits as an MLA in the Northern Ireland Assembly for Foyle.
  13. ^ Robin Swann sits as an MLA in the Northern Ireland Assembly for North Antrim.
  14. ^ Naomi Long sits as an MLA in the Northern Ireland Assembly for East Belfast.


  1. ^ "Representation of the People Act 1983, Section 1". Retrieved 26 April 2017. 
  2. ^ "Types of election, referendums, and who can vote". HM Government. Retrieved 18 April 2017. 
  3. ^ Representation of the People Act 1983, Sections 3 and 3A
  4. ^ Representation of the People Act 1983, Section 173
  5. ^ "House of Lords Act 1999". Retrieved 4 June 2017. 
  6. ^ "House of Lords Reform Act 2014, Section 4". Retrieved 4 June 2017. 
  7. ^ Electoral Commission: Deadline for registration ahead of an election.
  8. ^ cf "Guidance for Electoral Registration Officers (Part 4 – Maintaining the register throughout the year)" (PDF). Cabinet Office and The Electoral Commission. July 2016. p. 114 (para 7.128). Retrieved 8 June 2017. 
  9. ^ Electoral Commission (2016). "I have two homes. Can I register at both addresses?". The Electoral Commission. Retrieved 5 January 2011. 
  10. ^ "Boundary review launched". Boundary Commission for England. Retrieved 29 April 2016. 
  11. ^ "2018 Review of Westminster Parliamentary constituencies". Boundary Commission for Scotland. Retrieved 3 May 2016. 
  12. ^ "2018 Review". Boundary Commission for Wales. Retrieved 3 May 2016. 
  13. ^ a b Horne, Alexander; Kelly, Richard. "Alexander Horne and Richard Kelly: Prerogative powers and the Fixed-term Parliaments Act". UK Constitutional Law Association. Retrieved 17 August 2015. 
  14. ^ "House of Commons Debate 5 July 2010 c 23". UK Parliament. 5 July 2010. Retrieved 8 September 2013. 
  15. ^ Tuft, Ben. "When will the next UK General Election be held?". The Independent. Retrieved 17 August 2015. 
  16. ^ "General election timetable 2015". UK Parliament. Retrieved 8 December 2014. 
  17. ^ "Thirsk and Malton candidate death delays poll date". BBC News Online. 22 April 2010. 
  18. ^ Conservative Party 2017 manifesto, p. 43
  19. ^ Bloom, Dan (11 June 2017). "Corbyn has predicted the date of the next election - and he's fighting to win it". 
  20. ^ "At Momentum we’re back in campaign mode, because an election is coming". 29 June 2017 – via The Guardian. 
  21. ^ "Will there be a second general election in 2017?". 
  22. ^ Unit, The Constitution (16 June 2017). "After the general election: what’s next?". 
  23. ^ Elects, Britain (13 June 2017). "On another general election this autumn: Support: 43% Oppose: 38%(via @YouGov / 09 - 10 Jun)".