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The State Opening of Parliament 

The UK general election took place on Thursday 4 July 2024. The new Parliament met on Tuesday 9 July 2024 for the election of the Speaker and swearing-in of MPs and Lords. The State Opening of Parliament and The King’s Speech will take place on Wednesday 17 July 2024.

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View the 2024 general election results.

General election turnout

The lowest turnout in a general election was recorded in 1918 at 57.2%, due to the end of the First World War. Between 1922 and 1997 turnout remained above 71%. At the 2001 general election the turnout was 59.4%; in 2005 it was 61.4%; in 2010 it was 65.1%; and in 2015 it was 66.1%.

Electoral Commission reports

The Electoral Commission has published reports examining whether changing the current arrangements for voting will encourage more people to vote and there have been a number of pilots at local elections in recent years to try out some of the alternative measures suggested. These included:

  • allowing weekend voting

  • changing polling hours

  • opening polling stations in different locations

  • encouraging postal voting and early voting

The Hansard Society publishes an annual Audit of Political Engagement, which measures political engagement in Great Britain.

Page last updated August 2016.

Election and referendum basics

Parliament's Education Service supports young people's understanding of Parliament and democracy. Learn more about elections, referendums and voting systems.

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