Next United Kingdom general election
The next general election in the United Kingdom is scheduled to be held on 5 May 2022 under the Fixed-term Parliaments Act 2011 (FTPA), five years after the previous general election in 2017. 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 bill that overrules the FTPA, or a vote of no confidence in the government which is not followed by a vote of confidence within 14 days.
All seats in the House of Commons, currently 650, will be contested
326 seats needed for a majority
An earlier election, occurring sometime in late 2019, is expected, but has not yet been scheduled. In September 2019 Prime Minister Boris Johnson twice sought an early election under the provisions of the Act, after the House of Commons backed a bill to force him to request an additional extension of UK membership to the European Union, but he twice failed to get the required support for this in the Commons.
Each parliamentary constituency of the United Kingdom elects one MP to the House of Commons using the first-past-the-post voting system.
- 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]
- 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, or a person found guilty of certain corrupt or illegal practices) or disqualified from voting (peers sitting in the House of Lords).
Individuals must be registered to vote by midnight twelve working days before polling day. 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.
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 (page 42) "We will legislate for votes for life for British overseas electors".
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.
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.
|Scottish National Party||33||2|
|Democratic Unionist Party||10|
|Green Party (England & Wales)||1|
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.
Removing the power of the monarch, on advice of the prime minister, to dissolve parliament before its five-year maximum length, 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. The Conservative Party manifesto at the 2017 general election proposed repealing the Fixed-term Parliaments Act 2011, 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. Under the Electoral Registration and Administration Act 2013 parliament would be dissolved 25 working days before this date on 28 March 2022. 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. 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).
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, with a 15 October 2019 date floated (a previously mooted 14 October date had been criticised for clashing with the Jewish festival of Sukkot). 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 — and the required supermajority was not achieved. The government moved a similar motion on 9 September, which failed similarly. 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.
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.
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.
|Party||Party leader(s)||Leader since||Leader's seat||Last election||Current
|Conservative Party||Boris Johnson||July 2019||Uxbridge & South Ruislip||42.4%||317||288|
|Labour Party||Jeremy Corbyn||September 2015||Islington North||40.0%||262||247|
|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||18|
|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
|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. 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.
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 and was succeeded by Jo Swinson in July 2019.
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|
|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|
Members of Parliament not standing for re-electionEdit
The chart below depicts opinion polls conducted for the next United Kingdom general election using a 28-day moving average.
- 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
- 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).
- Nicola Sturgeon sits as an MSP in the Scottish Parliament for Glasgow Southside.
- Price sits as an AM in the Welsh Assembly.
- Bartley sits as a councillor on Lambeth Council whilst Berry sits on the London Assembly.
- Arlene Foster sat as an MLA in the Northern Ireland Assembly for Fermanagh and South Tyrone prior to the collapse of the Assembly.
- Mary Lou McDonald sits as a Teachta Dála in the Dáil Éireann for Dublin Central
- Colum Eastwood sat as an MLA in the Northern Ireland Assembly for Foyle prior to the collapse of the Assembly.
- Robin Swann sat as an MLA in the Northern Ireland Assembly for North Antrim prior to the collapse of the Assembly.
- Naomi Long sits as an MEP in the European Parliament for Northern Ireland.
- Implied. Jared O'Mara had indicated that he would be resigning his seat, but later postponed his resignation.
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- Electoral Commission: Deadline for registration ahead of an election.
- 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.
- "Guidance for Electoral Registration Officers (Part 2 –The registration framework)" (PDF). The Electoral Commission. June 2019. p. 12 (para 3.21). Retrieved 2 September 2019.
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- Woodcock, Andrew; Cowburn, Ashley (22 July 2019). "Jo Swinson becomes first woman to be elected leader of Liberal Democrats". The Independent. Retrieved 9 September 2019.
- "Theresa May to resign as prime minister". BBC News. 24 May 2019. Retrieved 24 May 2019.
- Bartlett, Nicola (8 July 2019). "6 Labour MPs stand down amid reselection drive as election looms - full list". Daily Mirror.
- Elgot, Jessica (14 July 2019). "Tory MP to stand down over grave concerns about Johnson as PM". The Guardian.
- "STATEMENT FROM RT HON. RICHARD BENYON MP FOR NEWBURY | Richard Benyon MP". richardbenyon.com. Retrieved 9 September 2019.
- "Commons Speaker John Bercow to stand down". BBC News. 9 September 2019. Retrieved 9 September 2019.
- "City of Durham MP Roberta Blackman-Woods to stand down". Chronicle Live. 15 July 2019.
- PoliticsHome.com (15 April 2019). "Nick Boles: "This is my swansong. I'm on my way out"". PoliticsHome.com. Retrieved 18 April 2019.
- Sparrow, Andrew (3 September 2019). "Tory rebel Alistair Burt to stand down as MP at next election". The Guardian. Retrieved 3 September 2019.
- @HouseofCommons (22 July 2019). "Following the election of @joswinson, @vincecable is stepping down as leader of @LibDems and has announced that he will not seek re-election in 2022. Sir Vince began his Parliamentary career with this speech on 11 June 1997, watch the archive footage:" (Tweet). Retrieved 22 July 2019 – via Twitter.
- "Ronnie Campbell, longest serving Blyth Valley MP, will stand down at next election". News Post Leader. 24 June 2019. Retrieved 24 June 2019.
- Walker, Peter (27 June 2019). "Veteran Tory MP Ken Clarke: 'I'm minded to step down now'". The Guardian. Retrieved 27 June 2019.
- Mullen, Enda (9 September 2019). "Coventry MP Jim Cunningham to stand down". Coventry Telegraph. Retrieved 12 September 2019.
- "Montgomeryshire MP Glyn Davies to stand down at next election". ITV News. 15 May 2019. Retrieved 15 May 2019.
- Shepard, Gabriel (4 September 2019). "Sevenoaks MP Michael Fallon to stand down after more than 31 years in Parliament". Kent Live. Retrieved 5 September 2019.
- "Newcastle-under-Lyme Labour MP Paul Farrelly announces he's standing down at the next general election". StokeOnTrentLive. 7 September 2019. Retrieved 7 September 2019.
Mr Farrellly, a firm Remainer, retained his seat at the last general election by 30 votes.
- Fitzpatrick, Jim [@FitzMP] (24 June 2019). "Labour HQ asked if I'll stand again, here is my official response. In the event of a snap election a volunteer parachutist may be needed if no time for full selection procedures to represent the great seat of Poplar and Limehouse!!" (Tweet). Retrieved 24 June 2019 – via Twitter.
- Thom, Ryan (10 September 2019). "Bill Grant announces his resignation as MP for Ayr, Carrick and Cumnock". Ayr Advertiser. Retrieved 10 September 2019.
- Proctor, Kate. "Justine Greening to quit as Tory MP at next election". The Guardian. Retrieved 3 September 2019.
- "Watford MP announces decision to STAND DOWN at next election". Watford Observer. Retrieved 29 August 2019.
- Manley, John (8 July 2019). "Pro-Brexit Kate Hoey plans to stand down at next election". Irish Times. Retrieved 12 September 2019.
- Hurd, Nick [@NickHurdUK] (5 September 2019). "I have today informed my Association Chairman that I will not be standing at the next General Election. My decision is a personal not political one. My statement to constituents: www.nickhurd.com/news/statement 1/2" (Tweet). Retrieved 5 September 2019 – via Twitter.
- Johnson, Jo [@JoJohnsonUK] (5 September 2019). "It's been an honour to represent Orpington for 9 years & to serve as a minister under three PMs. In recent weeks I've been torn between family loyalty and the national interest - it's an unresolvable tension & time for others to take on my roles as MP & Minister. #overandout" (Tweet). Retrieved 5 September 2019 – via Twitter.
- "Former minister and Clwyd West MP David Jones to stand down". BBC News Online. 9 September 2019. Retrieved 9 September 2019.
- Scott, Geraldine. "North Norfolk MP Norman Lamb reveals he will not fight another election". Eastern Daily Press.
- "Stafford MP Jeremy LeFroy to step down at next general election". BBC News. 8 July 2019. Retrieved 18 July 2019.
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- Wheeler, Caroline (7 September 2019). "Labour MP John Mann quits to become government anti-semitism tsar". The Sunday Times – via www.thetimes.co.uk.
- "MP O'Mara to step down from Parliament". 27 July 2019 – via www.bbc.co.uk.
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- "Erith & Thamesmead MP Teresa Pearce to stand down". BBC News. 14 June 2019. Retrieved 19 June 2019.
- Perry, Claire [@claireperrymp] (6 September 2019). "1/2: I have written today to my Constituency Chairman to say I will not be seeking reselection as our candidate at the next Election. It has been the privilege of my life to serve the people of the Devizes Constituency for 9 yrs and I am proud of what we have achieved together" (Tweet). Retrieved 10 September 2019 – via Twitter.
- @GloriaDePiero (19 July 2019). "Tonight I thanked local Labour members for enabling me to serve the people of Ashfield for 9 yrs. I will continue to give the job 100% but I won't be the Labour candidate at the next election. Thank u for giving me the opportunity to serve. It's been the greatest honour of my life" (Tweet). Retrieved 19 July 2019 – via Twitter.
- Prisk, Mark [@PriskMark] (9 September 2019). "Today I have announced that I will not be standing at the next general election. Read my full statement herepic.twitter.com/OgTkw7XLlj" (Tweet). Retrieved 9 September 2019 – via Twitter.
- "Coventry MP Geoffrey Robinson to not seek re-election". BBC News. 8 July 2019.
- @joanryanEnfield (16 September 2019). "STATEMENT FROM JOAN RYAN MP – THREAD: It's been a huge privilege & honour to serve as the MP for Enfield North. (1/8)" (Tweet). Retrieved 16 September 2019 – via Twitter.
- "Anti no-deal MP to stand down at next election". 3 September 2019 – via www.bbc.co.uk.
- @BBCNewsnight (3 September 2019). "Sir Nicholas Soames MP confirms to #Newsnight that he will not stand in the next general election. "I have been told by the chief whip… that I have had the whip removed after 37 years as a Conservative MP." "I'm not going to stand" @NSoames" (Tweet). Retrieved 3 September 2019 – via Twitter.
- Walker, Jonathan (5 September 2019). "Midland MP Caroline Spelman to stand down". birminghammail. Retrieved 5 September 2019.
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