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Next United Kingdom general election

The next general election in the United Kingdom is scheduled for 5 May 2022, five years after the previous general election in 2017.

Next United Kingdom general election
United Kingdom
← 2017 On or before 5 May 2022, likely 5 December 2019 Next →

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 288
Labour Jeremy Corbyn 244
SNP Nicola Sturgeon 35
Liberal Democrat Jo Swinson 19
DUP Arlene Foster 10
Sinn Féin Mary Lou McDonald 7
The Independent Group for Change Anna Soubry 5
Plaid Cymru Adam Price 4
Green Jonathan Bartley & Siân Berry 1
Speaker John Bercow 1
Independent N/A 36
Incumbent Prime Minister
Boris Johnson
Conservative

The election is expected to occur earlier however, sometime in late 2019.[1] In September 2019 Prime Minister Boris Johnson twice sought an early election under the provisions of the Fixed-term Parliaments Act 2011, after the House of Commons backed a bill to force him to request an additional extension of UK membership to the European Union,[2] but he twice failed to get the required two-thirds majority support for this in the Commons.[3]

Electoral systemEdit

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

Voting eligibilityEdit

In order to vote in the general election, one must be:[4][5]

  • on the Electoral Register;
  • aged 18 or over on polling day;
  • a British, Irish or Commonwealth citizen;
  • resident at an address in the United Kingdom, or a British citizen (or Irish citizen born in Northern Ireland) living abroad who has been registered to vote in the UK in the last 15 years);[n 1][6]
  • not legally excluded from voting (most notably a convicted person detained in prison or a mental hospital, or unlawfully at large if the person would otherwise have been detained,[7] or a person found guilty of certain corrupt or illegal practices[8]) or disqualified from voting (peers sitting in the House of Lords).[9][10]

Individuals must be registered to vote by midnight twelve working days before polling day.[11] Anyone who qualifies as an anonymous elector has until midnight six working days before polling day to register.[n 2] 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.[13]

It is current UK Government policy to pass a law removing the 15-year limit on expatriate Britons voting before the next general election takes place, as mentioned in the 2017 Conservative Party manifesto, which stated "We will legislate for votes for life for British overseas electors".[14]

Boundary reviewEdit

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.[15][16][17]

After each Commission published their Final Recommendation reports on 10 September 2018, psephologists Colin Rallings and Michael Thrasher of Plymouth University projected the result of the 2017 election as if the recommended new boundaries had been in place.[18][19]

Party Projected
seats
Net
change
Conservative Party 308   9
Labour Party 232   30
Scottish National Party 33   2
Democratic Unionist Party 10  
Liberal Democrats 7   5
Sinn Féin 7  
Plaid Cymru 2   2
Green Party (England & Wales) 1  

The reviewed boundaries cannot be implemented until they have been approved by both Houses of Parliament, but as of 2019 the government has yet to submit them for consideration.[20]

Date of the electionEdit

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.[21]

Removing the power of the monarch, on advice of the prime minister, to dissolve parliament before its five-year maximum length,[21] the act permits early dissolution if the House of Commons votes by a two-thirds supermajority, as occurred in the 2017 general election. 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.[22] The Conservative Party manifesto at the 2017 general election proposed repealing the Fixed-term Parliaments Act 2011,[23] although this has yet to occur.

Thus, the next general election is due to take place on 5 May 2022, unless it is triggered earlier.[24] Under the Electoral Registration and Administration Act 2013 parliament would be dissolved 25 working days before this date on 28 March 2022.[25] Under the Fixed-term Parliaments Act the Prime Minister may schedule polling day up to two months after 5 May 2022, subject to approval by both Houses.

An early general election is considered to be a possible outcome of the political impasse regarding the Brexit withdrawal agreement.[26] Following a government defeat in a "meaningful vote" in January 2019, a vote of no confidence was called by the Labour Party: this failed by nineteen votes (306 to 325).[27]

On 4 September 2019, after losing Brexit-related parliamentary votes and the government's working majority, Prime Minister Boris Johnson put forward a motion under the FTPA to call an early election,[28][29] with a 15 October 2019 date floated (a previously mooted 14 October date had been criticised for clashing with the Jewish festival of Sukkot).[30] However, opposition parties did not acquiesce to the request — citing concerns that Johnson could change the election date to one that would prevent efforts to stop a no-deal Brexit[31] — and the required supermajority was not achieved.[32][29] The government moved a similar motion on 9 September, which failed similarly.[33] Opposition parties have said they are keen for a new election soon, but after a no deal exit at the end of October has been prevented.[34][1]

Contesting political parties and candidatesEdit

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. At the 2017 general election, representatives of 71 parties stood for election, and 462 people stood as independents.[35]

The Conservative Party and Labour Party have been the two biggest political parties, and have supplied every Prime Minister since 1922. Early 2019 saw the founding of two notable new parties: the populist Brexit Party was formed by former UKIP politicians, while Change UK was formed by a group of Labour and Conservative MPs leaving their respective parties. Neither party stood in the 2019 local elections. In these, the Liberal Democrats and Greens made significant gains, but the Conservatives and Labour were still the two largest parties. However, in the European Parliament elections later the same month, the Brexit Party came top and the Liberal Democrats were second – Change UK failed to win any seats and subsequently split, with some former members joining the Lib Dems and others forming The Independents. In the aftermath of those elections, the Brexit Party or the Lib Dems came top in a number of national polls in May/June 2019.

Great BritainEdit

Parties that won seats in Great Britain at the 2017 general election are shown in the table below, ordered by the number of seats they won.

Party Party leader(s) Leader since Leader's seat Last election Current
seats
Notes
% of
votes
Seats
Conservative Party Boris Johnson July 2019 Uxbridge & South Ruislip 42.4% 317 288
Labour Party Jeremy Corbyn September 2015 Islington North 40.0% 262 244
Scottish National Party Nicola Sturgeon November 2014 None[n 3] 3.0% 35 35 Only contests seats in Scotland
Liberal Democrats Jo Swinson July 2019 East Dunbartonshire 7.4% 12 19
Plaid Cymru Adam Price September 2018 None[n 4] 0.5% 4 4 Only contests seats in Wales
Green Party of England and Wales Jonathan Bartley
Siân Berry
September 2016
September 2018
None[n 5] 1.6% 1 1 Only contests seats in England and Wales

In February 2019, eleven MPs from both the Labour and Conservative parties resigned from their parties to sit together as The Independent Group.[36] Having undergone a split and two name changes, this group now number five MPs who sit as the registered party The Independent Group for Change under the leadership of Anna Soubry.[37][38]

Tim Farron announced his departure as Liberal Democrat leader shortly after the June 2017 election. He was replaced by Vince Cable. In September 2018, Cable stated his intention to resign as leader[39] and was succeeded by Jo Swinson in July 2019.[40][41]

Theresa May resigned as leader of the Conservative and Unionist Party on 7 June[42] and was succeeded as both leader of the party and Prime Minister by Boris Johnson.

Northern IrelandEdit

While a number of UK parties organise in Northern Ireland (including the Labour Party, which does not field candidates) and others field candidates for election (most notably the Conservatives), the main Northern Ireland parties are different from those in the rest of the UK. Some parties in Northern Ireland operate on an all-Ireland basis, including Sinn Féin (which is currently Northern Ireland's second largest parliamentary party).

Party Leader(s) Leader since Leader's seat Last election Current seats
%
(in NI)
Seats
Democratic Unionist Party Arlene Foster December 2015 None[n 6] 36.0% 10 10
Sinn Féin Mary Lou McDonald February 2018 None[n 7] 29.4% 7 7
Social Democratic & Labour Party Colum Eastwood November 2015 None[n 8] 11.7% 0 0
Ulster Unionist Party Robin Swann April 2017 None[n 9] 10.3% 0 0
Alliance Party Naomi Long October 2016 None[n 10] 7.9% 0 0
Independent 2.0% 1 1

Members of Parliament not standing for re-electionEdit

MP Seat First elected Party Date announced
Sir Kevin Barron Rother Valley 1983 Labour 3 July 2019[43]
Guto Bebb Aberconwy 2010 (as Conservative) Independent 14 July 2019[44]
Richard Benyon Newbury 2005 (as Conservative) Independent 9 September 2019[45]
John Bercow[n 11] Buckingham 1997 (as Conservative) Speaker 9 September 2019[46]
Roberta Blackman-Woods City of Durham 2005 Labour 15 July 2019[47]
Nick Boles Grantham and Stamford 2010 (as Conservative) Independent 15 April 2019[48]
Alistair Burt North East Bedfordshire 1983 (Bury North), 2001 (North East Bedfordshire) (as Conservative) Independent 3 September 2019[49]
Sir Vince Cable Twickenham 1997 Liberal Democrat 22 July 2019[50]
Ronnie Campbell Blyth Valley 1987 Labour 24 June 2019[51]
Kenneth Clarke Rushcliffe 1970 (as Conservative) (Father of the House) Independent 27 June 2019[52]
Ann Clwyd Cynon Valley 1984 by-election Labour 28 September 2019[53]
Jim Cunningham Coventry South 1992 (Coventry South East), 1997 (Coventry South) Labour 9 September 2019[54]
Glyn Davies Montgomeryshire 2010 Conservative 13 May 2019[55]
Gloria De Piero Ashfield 2010 Labour 19 July 2019[56]
Sir Michael Fallon Sevenoaks 1983 (Darlington), 1997 (Sevenoaks) Conservative 4 September 2019[57]
Paul Farrelly Newcastle-under-Lyme 2001 Labour 7 September 2019[58]
Mark Field Cities of London and Westminster 2001 Conservative 17 October 2019[59]
Jim Fitzpatrick Poplar and Limehouse 1997 Labour 24 June 2019[60]
Bill Grant Ayr, Carrick and Cumnock 2017 Conservative 10 September 2019[61]
Justine Greening Putney 2005 (as Conservative) Independent 3 September 2019[62]
Richard Harrington Watford 2010 (as Conservative) Independent 29 August 2019[63]
Kate Hoey Vauxhall 1989 by-election Labour 29 August 2019[64]
Nick Hurd Ruislip, Northwood and Pinner 2005 Conservative 5 September 2019[65]
Jo Johnson Orpington 2010 Conservative 5 September 2019[66]
David Jones Clwyd West 2005 Conservative 9 September 2019[67]
Sir Norman Lamb North Norfolk 2001 Liberal Democrat 27 August 2019[68]
Jeremy Lefroy Stafford 2010 Conservative 14 June 2019[69]
Sir Oliver Letwin West Dorset 1997 (as Conservative) Independent 21 August 2019[70]
Ian Lucas Wrexham 2001 Labour 11 October 2019[71]
John Mann Bassetlaw 2001 Labour 7 September 2019[72]
Jared O'Mara[n 12] Sheffield Hallam 2017 (as Labour) Independent 27 July 2019[73]
Albert Owen Ynys Môn 2001 Labour 14 August 2019[74]
Teresa Pearce Erith and Thamesmead 2010 Labour 8 July 2019[75]
Claire Perry Devizes 2010 Conservative 6 September 2019[76]
Stephen Pound Ealing North 1997 Labour 8 July 2019[43]
Mark Prisk Hertford and Stortford 2001 Conservative 9 September 2019[77]
Geoffrey Robinson Coventry North West 1976 by-election Labour 8 July 2019[78]
Joan Ryan Enfield North 1997 (as Labour) Change UK 16 September 2019[79]
Keith Simpson Broadland 1997 (Mid Norfolk), 2010 (Broadland) Conservative 3 September 2019[80]
Sir Nicholas Soames Mid Sussex 1983 (Crawley), 1997 (Mid Sussex) (as Conservative) Independent 3 September 2019[81]
Dame Caroline Spelman Meriden 1997 Conservative 5 September 2019[82]
Rory Stewart Penrith and The Border 2010 (as Conservative) Independent 4 October 2019[83]
Sir Hugo Swire East Devon 2001 Conservative 12 September 2019[84]
David Tredinnick Bosworth 1987 Conservative 15 February 2019[85]
Stephen Twigg Liverpool West Derby 1997 (Enfield Southgate), 2010 (Liverpool West Derby) Labour 8 July 2019[43]

Opinion pollingEdit

The chart below depicts opinion polls conducted for the next United Kingdom general election using a 28-day moving average.

 

FootnotesEdit

  1. ^ 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
  2. ^ 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).[12]
  3. ^ Nicola Sturgeon sits as an MSP in the Scottish Parliament for Glasgow Southside.
  4. ^ Adam Price sits as an AM in the Welsh Assembly for Carmarthen East and Dinefwr.
  5. ^ Bartley sits as a councillor on Lambeth Council whilst Berry sits on the London Assembly.
  6. ^ Arlene Foster sat as an MLA in the Northern Ireland Assembly for Fermanagh and South Tyrone prior to the collapse of the Assembly.
  7. ^ Mary Lou McDonald sits as a Teachta Dála in the Dáil Éireann for Dublin Central
  8. ^ Colum Eastwood sat as an MLA in the Northern Ireland Assembly for Foyle prior to the collapse of the Assembly.
  9. ^ Robin Swann sat as an MLA in the Northern Ireland Assembly for North Antrim prior to the collapse of the Assembly.
  10. ^ Naomi Long sits as an MEP in the European Parliament for Northern Ireland.
  11. ^ John Bercow has stated that he will resign his seat on 31 October 2019. If a general election is not held shortly thereafter, the Buckingham seat vacancy will be filled by a by-election.
  12. ^ Implied. Jared O'Mara had indicated that he would be resigning his seat, but later postponed his resignation.

ReferencesEdit

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