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Next United Kingdom general election

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The next United Kingdom general election is scheduled to be held no later than Friday 24 January 2025, after the Dissolution and Calling of Parliament Act 2022 repealed the Fixed-term Parliaments Act 2011.

Background

The result at the last general election and the current situation in the House of Commons is given below:

Affiliation Members
Elected[1] Current[2] Change
Conservative[b] 365 358 Decrease 7
Labour[c] 202 200 Decrease 2
SNP 48 44 Decrease 4
Liberal Democrats 11 14 Increase 3
DUP 8 8 Steady
Sinn Féin 7 7 Steady
Plaid Cymru 4 3 Decrease 1
SDLP 2 2 Steady
Alba 0 2 Increase 2
Green 1 1 Steady
Alliance 1 1 Steady
Speaker 1 1 Steady
Independent 0 8 Increase 8
Total 650 650 Steady
Voting total[d] 639 639 Steady
Vacant 0 0 Steady
Government majority 87[e] 75[f] Decrease 12

For full details of changes during the current Parliament, see Defections and suspensions and By-elections.

Ahead of this general election, HuffPost reported in March 2022 that the Labour Party abandoned all-women shortlists, citing legal advice that continuing to use them for choosing parliamentary candidates would become an "unlawful" practice again under the Equality Act 2010.[6]

Electoral system

General elections in the United Kingdom are organised using first-past-the-post.

The Conservative Party, which won a majority at the 2019 general election, included pledges in its manifesto to remove the fifteen-year limit on voting for British citizens living abroad, and to introduce a voter identification requirement[7] in Great Britain. Provisions for these changes have been enacted in the Elections Act 2022.

Boundary review

In March 2020, Cabinet Office minister Chloe Smith confirmed that the 2023 Periodic Review of Westminster constituencies would commence based on retaining 650 seats.[8][9] The review began in January 2021 with the previous relevant legislation having been amended by the Parliamentary Constituencies Act 2020.[10]

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.[11][12][13] A projection by psephologists Colin Rallings and Michael Thrasher of how the 2017 votes would have translated to seats under the new boundaries suggested the changes would be beneficial to the Conservatives and detrimental to Labour.[14][15]

Prior to the Parliamentary Constituencies Act 2020, boundary changes could not be implemented until they were approved by both Houses of Parliament. No changes were submitted by the government during the 2017–2019 Parliament.[16] The majority Conservative government manifesto states that this will be implemented before the next general election.

Date of the election

Situation before the repeal of the Fixed-term Parliaments Act

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, unless the previous general election took place between 1 January and the first Thursday in May, in which case the election would have taken place on the first Thursday in May of the fourth year after the previous general election.[17]

Removing the power of the monarch, on advice of the prime minister, to dissolve parliament before its five-year maximum length,[17] the act permitted early dissolution if the House of Commons voted by a two-thirds supermajority. Parliament would also have been dissolved if a government had lost a vote of no confidence by a simple majority and a new government had not been formed within 14 days.[18] Alternatively, a bill requiring just a simple majority in both Houses could be introduced to establish in law an earlier date for the election, which is how the date of the previous general election was set in 2019.[19] Under the Act, the next general election would have taken place by no later than Thursday 2 May 2024.[20] Under the Electoral Registration and Administration Act 2013 parliament would have been dissolved 25 working days before this date on Tuesday 26 March.[21] Under the Fixed-term Parliaments Act, the Prime Minister might have scheduled polling day up to two months after 2 May, subject to approval by both Houses.

Repeal of the Fixed-term Parliaments Act

At the 2019 general election, where the Conservatives won a majority of 80 seats, the manifesto of the party contained a commitment to repeal the Fixed-term Parliaments Act due to "paralysis at a time when the country has needed decisive action".[22] The pledge was confirmed in the first Queen's Speech following the election.[23]

In December 2020, the government published a draft Fixed-term Parliaments Act 2011 (Repeal) Bill, later retitled the Dissolution and Calling of Parliament Bill.[24] In September 2021, Oliver Dowden, the newly appointed chairman of the Conservative Party, told party staff to prepare for a general election. The Daily Telegraph reported that an election could be held in May or June 2023.[25][26] In March 2022, Dowden announced that the Conservatives would start a two-year election campaign in May, implying an election date of May 2024.[27]

The Dissolution and Calling of Parliament Act 2022 received royal assent on 24 March 2022 and entered into force the same day. So, the Prime Minister can again request the monarch to dissolve Parliament and call an early election with 25 working days' notice. Section 4 of the Act provided: “If it has not been dissolved earlier, a Parliament dissolves at the beginning of the day that is the fifth anniversary of the day on which it first met”. For the present Parliament elected at the 2019 United Kingdom general election, which first met on 17 December 2019, this means the fifth-anniversary date of 17 December 2024 and the latest possible polling day 25 working days later, 24 January 2025.

Proposed Scottish independence referendum

In June 2022, First Minister of Scotland Nicola Sturgeon announced the Scottish National Party's intention to hold a second referendum on Scottish independence in October 2023, an event which could potentially have serious implications for any future UK general election. Sturgeon also stated that should the UK Government not give their consent to a 2023 referendum, the next general election would become a "de facto referendum" with the SNP standing on a single-issue ticket.[28]

Members of Parliament not standing for re-election

Members of Parliament not standing for re-election
MP Seat First elected Party Date announced
Douglas Ross Moray 2017 Conservative 14 October 2021[29]
Alex Cunningham Stockton North 2010 Labour 25 November 2021[30]
Margaret Hodge Barking 1994 Labour 2 December 2021[31]
Barry Sheerman Huddersfield 1979 Labour 4 December 2021[32]
Harriet Harman Camberwell and Peckham 1982 Labour 7 December 2021[33]
Alan Whitehead Southampton Test 1997 Labour 14 January 2022[34]
Charles Walker Broxbourne 2005 Conservative 1 February 2022[35]
Ben Bradshaw Exeter 1997 Labour 3 February 2022[36]
Kate Green Stretford and Urmston 2010 Labour 10 February 2022[37]
Wayne David Caerphilly 2001 Labour 11 February 2022[38]
Paul Blomfield Sheffield Central 2010 Labour 21 February 2022[39]
Rosie Winterton Doncaster Central 1997 Labour 27 February 2022[40]
Margaret Beckett Derby South Oct. 1974 (Lincoln) Labour 25 March 2022[41]
Nigel Adams Selby and Ainsty 2010 Conservative 9 April 2022[42]
Crispin Blunt Reigate 1997 Conservative 1 May 2022[43]
Mike Penning Hemel Hempstead 2005 Conservative 17 May 2022[44]

Opinion polling

The chart below shows opinion polls conducted for the next United Kingdom general election. The trend lines are local regressions (LOESS).

Notes

  1. ^ Under the Parliamentary Voting System and Constituencies Act 2011 the number of constituencies would have been reduced to 600 following the 2023 Periodic Review of Westminster constituencies. The Parliamentary Constituencies Act 2020 kept the number of constituencies at 650.
  2. ^ The Government of the United Kingdom is headed by the Prime Minister, who is currently the leader of the Conservative Party, the largest party in the House of Commons.
  3. ^ Labour, as the largest party not in government, takes the role of Official Opposition. The Labour total includes 25 MPs sponsored by the Co-operative Party, who are designated Labour and Co-operative.[3]
  4. ^ The seven members of Sinn Féin abstain, i.e. they do not take their seats in the House of Commons;[4] the Speaker and three Deputy Speakers (two Conservative and one Labour) have only a tie-breaking vote constrained by conventions.[5]
  5. ^ The number of voting government MPs less two non-voting Deputy Speakers (363), minus the sum of all other present MPs less the non-voting Speaker and one Deputy Speaker (276).[2]
  6. ^ The number of voting government MPs less two non-voting Deputy Speakers (357), minus the sum of all other present MPs less the non-voting Speaker and one Deputy Speaker (282).

References

  1. ^ "Results of the 2019 General Election". BBC News. Retrieved 14 December 2019.
  2. ^ a b "State of the parties". parliament.uk. Retrieved 19 April 2022.
  3. ^ "About the Party". Co-operative Party. Retrieved 22 February 2019.
  4. ^ Kelly, Conor (19 August 2019). "Understanding Sinn Féin's Abstention from the UK Parliament". E-International Relations. Retrieved 16 December 2019.
  5. ^ Boothroyd, David. "House of Commons: Tied Divisions". United Kingdom Election Results. Retrieved 25 July 2018.
  6. ^ Rogers, Alexandra (7 March 2022). "Exclusive: Labour Drops All-Women Shortlists For Next General Election". HuffPost. Retrieved 26 March 2022.
  7. ^ "Our Plan - Conservative Manifesto 2019". Conservative Party. Retrieved 17 December 2019.
  8. ^ "Correspondence with Chloe Smith MP" (PDF). parliament.uk.
  9. ^ Proctor, Kate (26 March 2020). "MPs no longer to get automatic vote on constituency boundary plans". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077.
  10. ^ "Parliamentary Constituencies Act". legislation.gov.uk. Retrieved 17 December 2020.
  11. ^ "Boundary review launched". Boundary Commission for England. 24 February 2016. Retrieved 30 October 2019.
  12. ^ "2018 Review of Westminster Parliamentary constituencies". Boundary Commission for Scotland. Retrieved 30 October 2019.
  13. ^ "2018 Review". Boundary Commission for Wales. Retrieved 30 October 2019.
  14. ^ Jones, Ian [@ian_a_jones] (10 September 2018). "New constituency boundaries could have given the Tories a majority of 16 at the last election (projection: Rallings/Thrasher)" (Tweet). Retrieved 30 October 2019 – via Twitter.
  15. ^ "New parliamentary map would have given Tories a majority of 16 at last election". ITV News. 10 September 2018. Retrieved 30 October 2019.
  16. ^ Johnston, Ron; Pattie, Charles; Rossiter, David (30 April 2019). "Boundaries in limbo: why the government cannot decide how many MPs there should be". LSE British Politics and Policy. London School of Economics. Retrieved 30 October 2019.
  17. ^ a b Horne, Alexander; Kelly, Richard (19 November 2014). "Alexander Horne and Richard Kelly: Prerogative powers and the Fixed-term Parliaments Act". ukconstitutionallaw.org. UK Constitutional Law Association. Retrieved 30 October 2019.
  18. ^ "House of Commons Debate 5 July 2010 c 23". parliament.uk. UK Parliament. 5 July 2010. Retrieved 30 October 2019.
  19. ^ "MPs back December election". 29 October 2019. Retrieved 30 October 2019.
  20. ^ Tuft, Ben (8 May 2015). "When will the next UK General Election be held?". The Independent. Archived from the original on 18 June 2022. Retrieved 30 October 2019.
  21. ^ "General election timetable 2015". parliament.uk. UK Parliament. Retrieved 30 October 2019.
  22. ^ Kettle, Martin (12 December 2019). "If the exit poll is right, this election will transform British politics". The Guardian. Retrieved 13 December 2019.
  23. ^ "Full transcript: The Queen's Speech". The Spectator. 19 December 2019. Retrieved 19 December 2019.
  24. ^ "Government to fulfil manifesto commitment and scrap Fixed-term Parliaments Act". GOV.UK. 1 December 2020. Retrieved 6 December 2020.
  25. ^ Hope, Christopher; Diver, Tony (15 September 2021). "Exclusive: Get ready for a general election, says Oliver Dowden". The Telegraph. Archived from the original on 11 January 2022. Retrieved 2 October 2021.
  26. ^ Ferguson, Emily (16 September 2021). "MPs told to prepare for 2023 general election as fallout from brutal reshuffle continues". inews.co.uk. Retrieved 2 October 2021.
  27. ^ Mason, Rowena (18 March 2022). "Boris Johnson to launch two-year election campaign in May". The Guardian. Retrieved 15 April 2022.
  28. ^ "Scottish independence: 19 October 2023 proposed as date for referendum". BBC News. Retrieved 29 June 2022.
  29. ^ Malik, Paul (14 October 2021). "Westminster boundary shake-up will impact all Courier voters'". The Courier. Retrieved 14 October 2021.
  30. ^ "Stockton North MP Alex Cunningham to retire at next election". BBC News. 25 November 2021. Retrieved 25 November 2021.
  31. ^ "Labour's Margaret Hodge to step down as MP for Barking". BBC News. 2 December 2021. Retrieved 2 December 2021.
  32. ^ Prest, Victoria (4 December 2021). "Barry Sheerman to stand down as Huddersfield MP after 40 years". YorkshireLive. Retrieved 6 December 2021.
  33. ^ Prest, Victoria (7 December 2021). "Labour MP Harriet Harman to stand down at next election". BBC News. Retrieved 7 December 2021.
  34. ^ "Southampton Test Labour MP Alan Whitehead to step down". BBC News. 14 January 2022. Retrieved 14 January 2022.
  35. ^ "Broxbourne's Conservative MP to quit at next election". BBC News. 2 February 2022. Retrieved 3 February 2022.
  36. ^ Merritt, Anita (3 February 2022). "Exeter MP Ben Bradshaw is stepping down after 25 years". DevonLive. Retrieved 3 February 2022.
  37. ^ "A message from Kate regarding the next General Election". kategreen.org. 10 February 2022. Retrieved 10 February 2022.
  38. ^ "Caerphilly Labour MP Wayne David to retire at next election". 11 February 2022 – via www.bbc.co.uk.
  39. ^ Kessen, David (21 February 2022). "Sheffield Central MP Paul Blomfield to stand down from Parliament at next general election". Sheffield Star.
  40. ^ Hennessey, Ted (27 February 2022). "Deputy Commons speaker stepping down as Labour MP at next election". The Independent. Archived from the original on 18 June 2022.
  41. ^ Ovens, Ruth (25 March 2022). "Dame Margaret Beckett announces she will not stand as MP in next election". Derbyshire Live. Retrieved 25 March 2022.
  42. ^ "Nigel Adams: Selby and Ainsty MP to stand down at election". BBC News. 9 April 2022. Retrieved 9 April 2022.
  43. ^ "Crispin Blunt marks 25 Years as Member of Parliament for Reigate". Crispin Blunt MP.
  44. ^ "Hemel Hempstead MP Sir Mike Penning to retire at next election". BBC News. Retrieved 17 May 2022.
This page was last edited on 1 July 2022, at 18:12
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