Election Day (United Kingdom)

Election Day (United Kingdom)

Election Day in the United Kingdom is by tradition a Thursday, but the date for general elections is not fixed by law. Most other European countries hold all Elections on Sundays. Polls in the United Kingdom open at 7:00 and close at 22:00.

UK General Elections

A General Election in the UK follows the dissolution of Parliament by the Queen on the advice of the Prime Minister of the day. The Prime Minister thus has the power to choose the date of the election. Thursday has been the customary day to hold elections since the 1930s.

Historically, elections took place over the course of a four-week period until 1918. Election days were then as follows:
* 14 December 1918 - Saturday
* 15 November 1922 - Wednesday
* 6 December 1923 - Thursday
* 29 October 1924 - Wednesday
* 30 May 1929 - Thursday
* 27 October 1931 - Tuesday
* 14 October 1935 - Thursdayand elections have been on Thursdays since then:
* 5 July 1945
* 23 February 1950
* 25 October 1951
* 26 May 1955
* 8 October 1959
* 15 October 1964
* 31 March 1966
* 18 June 1970
* 28 February 1974
* 10 October 1974
* 3 May 1979
* 9 June 1983
* 11 June 1987
* 9 April 1992
* 1 May 1997
* 7 June 2001
* 5 May 2005

Other UK elections

Local elections in England and Wales are by statute held on the first Thursday in May. This has been changed in recent years: in 2001 they were delayed while an outbreak of Foot and Mouth Disease was dealt with, and in 2004 they were delayed to coincide with elections for the European Parliament. But they were eventually held on Thursdays.By-elections and other UK elections are also traditionally held on Thursdays though they can be held on other days - in particular when they would otherwise clash with bank holidays. The last Parliamentary by-election not to be held on a Thursday was the Hamilton by-election of 31 May 1978. This was held on a Wednesday as the returning officer wished to avoid a clash with the opening game of the 1978 FIFA World Cup.

See also

* United Kingdom general elections


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