Next United Kingdom general election

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Next United Kingdom general election
United Kingdom
← 2015 due on 7 May 2020
Party Leader Current seats
Conservative David Cameron[n 1] 330
Labour TBD 232
SNP Nicola Sturgeon 56
Liberal Democrat TBD 8
DUP Peter Robinson 8
Sinn Féin Gerry Adams 4[n 2]
Plaid Cymru Leanne Wood 3
SDLP Alasdair McDonnell 3
UUP Mike Nesbitt 2
UKIP Nigel Farage 1
Green Natalie Bennett 1
Others N/A 2
Total N/A 650
This lists parties that currently hold seats.
Incumbent Prime Minister
David Cameron
Conservative
2005 election MPs
2010 election MPs
2015 election MPs

The next general election in the United Kingdom is due to be held on Thursday 7 May 2020, in line with the Fixed term Parliaments Act; it may be held at an earlier date in the event of a vote of no confidence or similar exceptional circumstances.[1] It will elect the 57th Parliament of the United Kingdom.

In UK general elections, voting takes place in 650 constituencies to elect Members of Parliament (MPs) to seats in the House of Commons, the lower house of the Parliament.

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. If one party obtains a majority of seats, then that party is entitled to form the Government. If the election results in no single party having a majority, then there is a hung parliament. In this case, the options for forming the Government are either a minority government or a coalition government.[2]

The postponed Sixth Periodic Review of Westminster constituencies is set to take place before the election, in 2018.

Date of the election[edit]

Fixed-term Parliaments Act[edit]

The Fixed-term Parliaments Act 2011 removed the Royal Prerogative to dissolve Parliament. As a result, a Prime Minister no longer has the power to advise the monarch to call an early election. The Bill permits early dissolution if the House of Commons votes by a supermajority of two-thirds. A government can still lose a vote of no confidence by a majority of just over 50%, requiring it to resign. Parliament will be dissolved if no new government can be formed within 14 days of a no-confidence vote.[3]

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 7 May 2020. Such a Statutory Instrument must be approved by each House of Parliament.

Electoral Registration and Administration Act 2013[edit]

By Section 14 of the Electoral Registration and Administration Act 2013, the period between the dissolution of Parliament and the following general election polling day is 25 working days.[4] Assuming that Good Friday, Easter Monday and the first Monday in May are UK public holidays in 2020 (as they have been for many years), the date of dissolution would work out as Monday 30 March 2020.

Delay[edit]

Occasionally, a constituency is forced to delay its polling day. In the 2005 and 2010 general elections, one constituency delayed its poll due to the death of a candidate.[5]

Leadership elections among the major parties, 2015–20[edit]

Labour[edit]

Ed Miliband resigned his position as leader immediately after the 2015 election, prompting a leadership election.

Liberal Democrats[edit]

Former Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg resigned his position as leader immediately after the 2015 election, prompting a leadership election.

Conservative[edit]

In March 2015, in an BBC interview, Prime Minister David Cameron ruled out serving a third term. Cameron stated during Cameron & Miliband: The Battle for Number 10 in 2015 that he'd serve a full second term; however, many news sources reported only days later that Cameron would not serve a full second term if re-elected.[6][7]

Opinion polling[edit]

Footnotes[edit]

  1. ^ Cameron is the current Conservative Party leader and Prime Minister, but he said during the 2015 general election campaign that he would not seek a third term; thus he is expected to stand down before the next general election.
  2. ^ Sinn Féin are abstentionist and do not take up their seats.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Fixed-term Parliaments Act 2011. legislation.gov.uk. 23 April 2015. 
  2. ^ Another hung Parliament: what next?. YouTube. 18 March 2015. 
  3. ^ "House of Commons Debate 5 July 2010 c 23". http://www.parliament.uk/. 5 July 2010. Retrieved 8 September 2013. 
  4. ^ "General election timetable 2015". Parliament.uk. Retrieved 8 December 2014. 
  5. ^ "Thirsk and Malton candidate death delays poll date". BBC News. 22 April 2010. 
  6. ^ Osborn, Andrew (2015-03-29). "Cameron would have to step down early if re-elected - ally". Reuters. Retrieved 2015-05-10. 
  7. ^ "Cameron 'will step down ahead of 2020 election'". ITV. 2015-03-29. Retrieved 2015-05-10.