When could a general election take place?

UK News | Published:

Polling day could fall in the festive season.

A polling station at the White Horse Inn in Hampshire

With Parliament suspended until October 14, the likely date of a snap general election has moved closer to Christmas.

The earliest date for polling day is probably Thursday November 28.

By law, Parliament has to be dissolved 25 working days before a general election.

For an election on November 28, dissolution would need to take place on October 24.

This would give MPs time after their return on October 14 to debate the Queen’s Speech, which is taking place on their first day back.

It also avoids a clash with the EU summit of October 17/18.

(PA Graphics)

The vote to trigger a general election could take place within days of MPs returning to Parliament on October 14.


For the Queen’s Speech to be fully debated, dissolution would probably need to occur the following week, most likely on October 24.

This timetable assumes that polling day has to be a Thursday, as it has been for every general election since 1935.

In theory polling day could take place on any day of the week – although the 25-day rule for dissolution would still apply.

For example, a general election on Tuesday November 26 would mean dissolution on October 22.


POLITICS Brexit Election
(PA Graphics)

An added factor is the UK’s exit from the European Union, which the Government insists will happen on October 31, with or without a deal.

MPs could decide to wait until after October 31 before triggering an election.

There are three other Thursdays when a general election could take place before Christmas: December 5, 12 or 19.

Parliament would need to be dissolved on October 31, November 7 or November 14 respectively.

The last time a general election took place in November was 1935, and there has not been one in December since 1923.

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