Rishi Sunak confirms General Election will take place on July 4: what happens next?

22 May 2024, 17:26 | Updated: 22 May 2024, 23:12

Rishi Sunak has announced a July 4 General Election date
Rishi Sunak has announced a July 4 General Election date. Picture: Alamy
Kieran Kelly

By Kieran Kelly

Rishi Sunak has confirmed a General Election will take place on July 4 after previously ruling out a summer election.

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It follows months of rampant speculation and Mr Sunak repeatedly insisting the election would happen in the 'second of half of the year'.

While many expected that to mean Autumn, the Prime Minister has shocked many by revealing the summer election date.

So, what happens next?

How July election will pan out

Polling Day will be July 4
Polling Day will be July 4. Picture: Alamy

The Prime Minister only needs to win a simple majority of 25 MPs in a House of Commons vote to officially trigger the election process.

The Prime Minister confirmed Parliament will be prorogued on Friday, before being dissolved officially next Thursday, May 30.

This allows MPs time to complete any unfinished business, know as the 'wash-up'.

Any bills that are not finished will not see the light of day.

Once Parliament is dissolved, every seat in the House of Commons becomes vacant. This means there will be no sitting MPs.

Ministers will remain in their positions until a new government is formed post-election.

However, government business in this period is restricted. This is formally known as the pre-election period.

While all House of Lords retain their positions, their official business also ends.

Then, polling day will take place exactly 25 days after Parliament is dissolved.

As for party campaigning, they will decide when exactly to launch their manifestos. This usually happens around 18 to 30 days before polling day.

On polling day, stations will open between 7am and 10pm. Votes can also be submitted via post in the weeks before polling day.

Key dates

May 30 2024: Dissolution of parliament. By law, this has to take place no later than 25 working days before polling day, which, in this instance, is May 30.

June 7: Deadline for candidates to be nominated. It is highly likely that candidates for some of the 650 constituencies across the UK have yet to be picked. Political parties will be rushing to find people to fill these gaps.

June 18: Deadline to register to vote. This can be done online at gov.uk/register-to-vote.

June 19: Deadline to apply for a postal vote.

June 26: Deadline to apply for a proxy vote - in other words, for someone to vote on your behalf - and to apply for a Voter ID certificate, if you do not already have a valid form of photo identification.

This will be the first UK general election where all voters will have to show a valid form of photo ID before casting a ballot.

July 4: Election day. Polls will open from 7am to 10pm.

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