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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. 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, or a vote of no confidence in the government which is not followed by a vote of confidence within 14 days.

Next United Kingdom general election

← 2017 5 May 2022
(see § Date of the election, for possibility of early election)

All 650 seats in the House of Commons[n 1]
326[n 2] seats needed for a majority
Opinion polls
Theresa May
Jeremy Corbyn
Nicola Sturgeon
Leader Theresa May[n 5] 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 3]
Last election 317 seats, 42.4% 262 seats, 40.0% 35 seats, 3.0%
Current seats 313[n 6] 245 35
Seats needed Increase13 Increase81 n/a[n 4]

Vince Cable
Heidi Allen
Arlene Foster
Leader Vince Cable[n 7] Heidi Allen (interim)[n 8] Arlene Foster
Party Liberal Democrat Change UK – The Independent Group DUP
Leader since 20 July 2017 29 March 2019 17 December 2015
Leader's seat Twickenham South Cambridgeshire None[n 9]
Last election 12 seats, 7.4% N/A 10 seats, 0.9%
Current seats 11 11 10
Seats needed Increase315 Increase315 n/a[n 10]

Incumbent Prime Minister

Theresa May

2010 election MPs
2015 election MPs
2017 election MPs


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;
  • 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 11] 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,[6] or a person found guilty of certain corrupt or illegal practices[7]) or disqualified from voting (peers sitting in the House of Lords).[8][9]

Individuals must be registered to vote by midnight twelve working days before polling day.[10] Anyone who qualifies as an anonymous elector has until midnight six working days before polling day to register.[n 12] 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.[12]

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".

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.[13][14][15]

After each Commission published their Final Recommendation reports on 10 September 2018, psephologists Rallings and Thrasher of Plymouth University projected the result of the 2017 election as if the new boundaries had been in place.[16][17]

Party Projected
Conservative Party 308  9 51.3%
Labour Party 232  30 38.6%
Scottish National Party 33  2 5.5%
Democratic Unionist Party 10   1.7%
Liberal Democrats 7  5 1.2%
Sinn Féin 7   1.2%
Plaid Cymru 2  2 0.3%
Green Party (England & Wales) 1   0.2%

Date of the electionEdit

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.[18]

Removing the power of the monarch, on advice of the prime minister, to dissolve parliament before its five-year maximum length,[18] 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.[19] The Conservative Party manifesto at the 2017 general election proposed repealing the Fixed-term Parliaments Act 2011,[20] 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.[21] Under the Electoral Registration and Administration Act 2013 parliament would be dissolved 25 working days before this date on 28 March 2022.[22] 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.[23] Following a government defeat in a "meaningful vote" in January 2019, the Labour Party called a vote of no confidence, although this failed.[24]

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. [25]

The Conservative Party and Labour Party have been the two biggest political parties, and have supplied every Prime Minister, since 1935.

Great BritainEdit

Parties that won seats in Great Britain are shown in the table below, ordered by their results in the 2017 general election.

Party Party leader(s) Leader since Leader's seat Last election
% of
Conservative Party Theresa May[n 5] July 2016 Maidenhead 42.4% 317
Labour Party Jeremy Corbyn September 2015 Islington North 40.0% 262
Scottish National Party Nicola Sturgeon November 2014 None[n 3] 3.0% 35
Liberal Democrats Vince Cable[n 7] July 2017 Twickenham 7.4% 12
Plaid Cymru Adam Price September 2018 None[n 13] 0.5% 4
Green Party (England & Wales) Jonathan Bartley September 2016 None[n 14] 1.6% 1
Siân Berry September 2018

In February 2019, eleven MPs from both the Labour and Conservative parties resigned from their parties to sit together as The Independent Group.[26] These MPs have begun the process of registering a political party to contest future elections.[27]

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 of the Liberal Democrats 'once Brexit is resolved or stopped'. At that time, the United Kingdom was scheduled to exit the European Union in March 2019. Cable is now stepping down after the May local elections, but before the new planned Brexit date in October.[28]

Facing a no confidence vote within her party in December 2018, Theresa May told MPs she would not contest the next scheduled general election (i.e. in 2022) as leader.[29][30]

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 (e.g., Conservative), the main Northern Ireland parties are different from those in the rest of the UK.

Party Leader(s) Leader since Leader's seat Last election
(in NI)
Democratic Unionist Party Arlene Foster December 2015 None[n 9] 36.0% 10
Sinn Féin Mary Lou McDonald 10 February 2018 None[n 15] 29.4% 7
Social Democratic & Labour Party Colum Eastwood November 2015 None[n 16] 11.7% 0
Ulster Unionist Party Robin Swann April 2017 None[n 17] 10.3% 0
Alliance Party Naomi Long October 2016 None[n 18] 7.9% 0

Members of Parliament not standing for re-electionEdit

Members of Parliament not standing for re-election
MP Seat First elected Party Date announced
David Tredinnick Bosworth 1987 Conservative 15 February 2019[31]
Nick Boles Grantham and Stamford 2010 Independent 15 April 2019[32]

Opinion pollingEdit

The graph shows polls conducted for the next UK general election, including polls released by 22 April 2019. The trendline is based on the average of the last 15 polls.
  Liberal Democrats

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ The Sixth Periodic Review of Westminster constituencies was due to be implemented in 2018 and would have reduced the number of seats to 600.
  2. ^ Given that Sinn Féin MPs do not take their seats and the Speaker and deputies do not vote, the number of MPs needed for a majority is, in practice, likely to be slightly lower.
  3. ^ a b Nicola Sturgeon sits as an MSP in the Scottish Parliament for Glasgow Southside.
  4. ^ Party only stands in Scotland (59 seats). It does not stand in enough seats to obtain a majority.
  5. ^ a b May has declared her intention to resign the leadership of the Conservative Party before the next scheduled general election.[1]
  6. ^ 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.
  7. ^ a b Cable has declared his intention to resign the leadership of the Liberal Democrats after the 2019 local elections, which are scheduled for May.[2]
  8. ^ Allen, elected as a Conservative, defected to The Independent Group, and has been selected as the interim leader of the successor party, currently planned to be called Change UK, if an election is held before the first party conference in September.[3]
  9. ^ a b Arlene Foster sits as an MLA in the Northern Ireland Assembly for Fermanagh and South Tyrone.
  10. ^ Party only stands in Northern Ireland (18 seats). It does not stand in enough seats to obtain a majority.
  11. ^ 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
  12. ^ 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).[11]
  13. ^ Price sits as an AM in the Welsh Assembly.
  14. ^ Bartley sits as a councillor on Lambeth Council whilst Berry sits on the London Assembly.
  15. ^ Cite error: The named reference McDonaldseat was invoked but never defined (see the help page).
  16. ^ Colum Eastwood sits as an MLA in the Northern Ireland Assembly for Foyle.
  17. ^ Robin Swann sits as an MLA in the Northern Ireland Assembly for North Antrim.
  18. ^ Naomi Long sits as an MLA in the Northern Ireland Assembly for East Belfast.


  1. ^ "Theresa May tells Conservative MPs she will not lead party into 2022 general election". The Independent. 12 December 2018. Retrieved 14 December 2018.
  2. ^ "Sir Vince Cable to quit as Lib Dem leader in May". BBC News. 14 March 2019. Retrieved 14 March 2019.
  3. ^ "The Independent Group becomes Change UK as Heidi Allen is unveiled as leader - and party will stand in EU elections". The Telegraph. 29 March 2019. Retrieved 2 April 2019.
  4. ^ "Representation of the People Act 1983, Section 1". Retrieved 26 April 2017.
  5. ^ "Types of election, referendums, and who can vote - GOV.UK". Retrieved 18 April 2017.
  6. ^ Representation of the People Act 1983, Sections 3 and 3A
  7. ^ Representation of the People Act 1983, Section 173
  8. ^ "House of Lords Act 1999". Retrieved 4 June 2017.
  9. ^ "House of Lords Reform Act 2014, Section 4". Retrieved 4 June 2017.
  10. ^ Electoral Commission: Deadline for registration ahead of an election.
  11. ^ 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.
  12. ^ Electoral Commission (2016). "I have two homes. Can I register at both addresses?". The Electoral Commission. Retrieved 5 January 2011.
  13. ^ "Boundary review launched". Boundary Commission for England. Retrieved 29 April 2016.
  14. ^ "2018 Review of Westminster Parliamentary constituencies". Boundary Commission for Scotland. Retrieved 3 May 2016.
  15. ^ "2018 Review". Boundary Commission for Wales. Retrieved 3 May 2016.[permanent dead link]
  16. ^ "Ian Jones on Twitter". Twitter. Retrieved 11 September 2018.
  17. ^ "New parliamentary map would have given Tories a majority of 16 at last election". ITV News. Retrieved 23 October 2018.
  18. ^ a b Horne, Alexander; Kelly, Richard (19 November 2014). "Alexander Horne and Richard Kelly: Prerogative powers and the Fixed-term Parliaments Act". UK Constitutional Law Association. Retrieved 17 August 2015.
  19. ^ "House of Commons Debate 5 July 2010 c 23". UK Parliament. 5 July 2010. Retrieved 8 September 2013.
  20. ^ Conservative Party 2017 manifesto, p. 43
  21. ^ Tuft, Ben. "When will the next UK General Election be held?". The Independent. Retrieved 17 August 2015.
  22. ^ "General election timetable 2015". UK Parliament. Retrieved 8 December 2014.
  23. ^ Blitz, James (29 March 2019). "Will the Brexit impasse lead to a UK general election?". Financial Times. Retrieved 30 March 2019.
  24. ^ "May's government survives no-confidence vote". BBC News. 16 January 2019. Retrieved 30 March 2019.
  25. ^ "Who stood in the General Election 2017". House of Commons Library. 8 June 2017. Retrieved 20 February 2019.
  26. ^ "Three Tory MPs join breakaway group". BBC News. 20 February 2019. Retrieved 20 February 2019.
  27. ^ Schofield, Kevin (29 March 2019). "The Independent Group becomes 'Change UK' to stand in European elections". PoliticsHome. Retrieved 29 March 2019.
  28. ^ Correspondent, Peter Walker Political (7 September 2018). "Vince Cable to step down 'after Brexit is resolved or stopped'". The Guardian – via
  29. ^ "Theresa May survives confidence vote of Tory MPs". BBC News. 12 December 2018. Retrieved 12 December 2018.
  30. ^ Stewart, Heather; Walker, Peter (12 December 2018). "May signals she will step down before 2022 election". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved 15 December 2018.
  31. ^ "David Tredinnick says he will not stand again as Bosworth MP". Leicester Mercury. 15 February 2019. Retrieved 15 February 2019.
  32. ^ (15 April 2019). "Nick Boles: "This is my swansong. I'm on my way out"". Retrieved 18 April 2019.