When Parliament is dissolved there are no longer any MPs and there is a general election. Here is the expected timetable for what happens during the campaign and after polling day when the new MPs take their seats and Members of the Lords return.
Following the Fixed-term Parliaments Act 2011 the date of the next general election has been set at the 7 May 2015. Below is the predicted timetable for the general election 2015.
The Electoral Registration and Administration Act 2013 has made provision for lengthening the UK Parliamentary election timetable, both for general and by-elections. These provisions have not yet been brought into force and until they are, the timetable for a General Election remains at 17 days.
When brought into force, Parliament will have to be dissolved 25 days rather than 17 days before the general election on 7 May 2015. Once the new timetable has been introduced, Parliament will be dissolved on Monday 30 March 2015.
Further information relating to the proposed changes to the timetable of the general election can be found in a research briefing produced by the House of Commons Library.
The Fixed-term Parliaments Act 2011 provides for general elections to be held on the first Thursday in May every five years. There are two provisions that trigger an election other than at five year intervals.
- A motion of no confidence is passed in Her Majesty's Government by a simple majority and 14 days elapses without the House passing a confidence motion in any new Government formed
- A motion for a general election is agreed by two thirds of the total number of seats in the Commons including vacant seats (currently 434 out of 650)
If this happens then the time table below will be amended.
The formal end of the parliamentary session is marked by what is known as prorogation. The House of Commons may decide that it will not prorogue.
Monday 30 March 2015 - Dissolution
- Parliament dissolves
- A proclamation will be made announcing when Parliament will meet after the general election and setting the date of the Queen's Speech at State Opening
- Writs will be issued for elections in the UK's 650 constituencies
Voter registration deadline 2015 – date to be announced
- Cut-off date for UK citizens aged 18 and over to register to vote in the general election
- Also marks the deadline for voters to apply for a postal or a proxy vote
Candidates' nomination papers must be delivered to the local returning officer. Any candidate wishing to withdraw must do so on this date
- Election agents, who ensure the proper management of each candidate's campaign, must also be appointed
Thursday 7 May 2015 - Election day
Polling booths open between 7am and 10pm. Counting of votes will begin when the polls close.
Friday 8 May 2015
The return of Parliament 2015 – date to be announced
- Parliament returns
- MPs start swearing the Oath of Allegiance or making an Affirmation in the Commons
- Members of the House of Lords start swearing the Oath of Allegiance or making an Affirmation in the Lords
The Queens Speech 2015 – date to be announced
The Queen's Speech is delivered at the State Opening of the new Parliament.
Election of the speaker of the House of Commons 2015 – date to be announced
Royal Commission confirms the election of the Speaker of the Commons