When will the next UK general election be? Britain to go to the polls within months

27 November 2023, 11:56 | Updated: 27 November 2023, 12:12

The Houses Of Parliament London
The Houses Of Parliament London. Picture: Getty
Natasha Clark

By Natasha Clark

Last week the Chancellor announced tax cuts would be brought forward to January, sparking speculation that an early election could be on the cards.

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Jeremy Hunt said the National Insurance cut would come early, rather than April when cuts usually come in following the Autumn Statement.

And Tories are openly discussing that a possible spring election could be on the cards - as governments usually try and get more cash in people's pockets in the months beforehand.

When does an election have to be called?

An election has to be called before January 2025 under the law, as it will have been five years since the last one held in December 2019.

650 MPs are usually elected, but thanks to boundary changes, this will be whittled down to 600 this time around.

Dozens of MPs have announced they are going to step down as a result.

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It's ages since we've had an election - what's the hold up?

The PM has achieved his aim in slashing inflation in half, but it is still high.

The economy is still dragging along the floor, with little growth to point to, which usually has a huge impact on whether ruling parties win elections.

And the PM's five promises including stopping the boats, and getting NHS waiting lists down are still a long way off being met.

So when will it happen?

Most government insiders expected an election to be held in the autumn - to give time for some of these promises to be met, for inflation to hopefully fall, and the economy to pick up.

Activists knocking on doors in the January frost won't be hugely popular.

And Boris Johnson secured his historic 2019 win in December.

But pushing it back to January seems unlikely as it stands - unless the PM is feeling certain he will lose.

Jeremy Hunt and Rishi Sunak after the Autumn Statement last week. Picture: Getty

Would he call one early?

As the PM is so far behind in the polls, it's unlikely that he will call one any time soon.

The latest poll from IPSOS Mori had Labour on 46 per cent, the Tories on 25 per cent and Lib Dems on 12 per cent.

That gives Labour a 21 point lead.

But the Chancellor bringing forward those tax cuts to January has sparked speculation that he may go early.

Ministers want voters to feel better off before they go to the polls.

LBC has learned there have been discussions in government about an early Budget - possibly in February.

Jeremy Hunt told LBC's Nick Ferrari he's made no decision yet about the timing of the Budget, which is usually held in March.

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