When is the next UK general election?

When is the next UK general election?

Rishi Sunak is set to put a promise to keep the pension triple lock at the centre of the Conservatives’ campaign towards the next general election, according to reports.

The prime minister has his back against the wall in campaigning for another term in office with an exclusive Ipos Mori survey for the Evening Standard finding nine out of 10 Brits want new leadership after 13 years of Tory rule. Labour also enjoy a 20 per cent lead in the polls although leader Sir Keir Starmer has a net satisfaction rating of -22.

To boost their hopes of clinging onto their grip on No 10, the Tories have doubled down on their commitment to the pension policy.

Chancellor Jeremy Hunt told LBC on Monday: "We introduced the triple lock. Because of the triple lock the Conservatives introduced, there are 200,000 fewer pensioners in poverty than when we came in in 2010. It's a policy we believe in.”

During the interview with Nick Ferrari, Mr Hunt stopped short of promising it would be in the next manifesto.

The next general election can take place any time until January 2025. What are the rules about holding an immediate one and who can call for it?

Jeremy Hunt has put the policy towards the front of the Tories’ message (PA Wire)
Jeremy Hunt has put the policy towards the front of the Tories’ message (PA Wire)

When is the next UK general election?

The maximum term for Parliament is five years. As the current Parliament first met on December 17, 2019, it will be automatically dissolved on December 17, 2024.

Polling day would therefore take place 25 days later, placing the next general election in January 2025. However, King Charles could dissolve Parliament at any time before this date at the request of the prime minister.

When was the last general election?

The last general election was on December 12, 2019. The Conservative Party won a large majority. The prime minister at the time, Boris Johnson, called the election after months of parliamentary deadlock that delayed Brexit.

There was another general election in 2017, called by then-prime minister Theresa May in the hope of strengthening her hand in the Brexit negotiations.

Boris Johnson at the Uxbridge election count in 2019 on the night he became prime minister (PA Archive)
Boris Johnson at the Uxbridge election count in 2019 on the night he became prime minister (PA Archive)

When can a general election be held?

On March 24, 2022, the Government repealed the Fixed-Term Parliaments Act 2011, which had created five-year periods between elections and allowed earlier elections only in specific circumstances. The UK thus reverted to the prior situation when the prime minister can ask the King to dissolve Parliament so a general election can be held.

When the act was repealed, minister for the cabinet office, Michael Ellis, said: “The Fixed-Term Parliaments Act was not fit for purpose, causing constitutional chaos in 2019 and delaying the Government acting on people’s priorities.

“At critical moments, we must trust the British public’s good judgment. Elections give the public a voice, and it’s right that we return to a tried-and-tested system that allows them to take place when needed.”

Why are elections held on a Thursday?

Every general election since 1931 has been held on a Thursday.

It was suggested that this would encourage more people to vote. It has been thought that elections on a Friday would have had lower turnouts given people’s desire to begin their weekends.

Saturday and Sunday were believed to have been ruled out given the need to pay extra for polling staff (typically local council employees) to work at the weekend.