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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.

http://www.parliament.uk/education/about-your-parliament/general-elections/

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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