General Election 2017: Your guide

Prime Minister Theresa May today announced plans to call a snap General Election for Thursday, June 8. At this very early stage, here is all you need to know.

Tuesday, 18th April 2017, 12:48 pm
Updated Tuesday, 9th May 2017, 6:42 pm
Prime Minister Theresa May and David Morris, MP for Morecambe.

Prior to Tuesday’s announcement, when was the next General Election due?

It was supposed to happen in 2020, five years after the last one.

Who won the last General Election in 2015?

The Conservatives, under David Cameron, won a surprise majority of 12. Opinion polls were predicting a hung Parliament.

How do you call a snap General Election?

Prior to the 2011 Fixed-term Parliaments Act, a Prime Minister could call a snap election after asking the monarch to dissolve Parliament. But now a snap election can only be called when the government loses a confidence motion or when a two-thirds majority of MPs vote in favour.

When will this vote take place?

On Wednesday. Labour and the Liberal Democrats have said they will vote with the Government so the vote will pass.

Why has Theresa May called for a snap General Election?

See our story HERE.

How do the polls stand?

A poll, conducted by ComRes for The Independent newspaper, showed the Conservatives were 21 points ahead of Labour, the biggest lead for a party in government since 1983. It gives the Tories 46 per cent of the vote share, 25 per cent for Labour, 11 per cent for the Liberal Democrats and 9 per cent for UKIP. YouGov voting intention figures see the Conservatives on 44% (from 42% last week) while Labour are on 23% (from 25% last week), giving the Tories a 21 point lead.

When was the last snap General Election in the UK?

Prime Minister Harold Wilson called a snap General Election in October 1974. This came just months after Wilson’s predecessor, Tory PM Edward Heath, called a General Election in February 1974 which resulted in a hung Parliament with Labour winning most seats. Heath resigned, Wilson took over, then called the second election in an effort to win a majority which he did, by just three votes.

Who are our current local Members of Parliament?

David Morris, a Conservative, is in his second term as MP for Morecambe and Lunesdale. He increased his majority at the 2015 election, from 866 to 4,590. Cat Smith, of Labour, is the MP for Lancaster and Fleetwood. She ousted Tory Eric Ollerenshaw at the 2015 election by 1,265 votes.

Will proposed electoral boundary changes affect this election?

No. Proposed boundary changes are not expected to come into effect until 2018. So in 2017, votes will be cast for the Morecambe and Lunesdale, and Lancaster and Fleetwood seats, the same as in the 2015 and 2010 elections.

When is the next General Election due after 2017?

The 2011 act stated that UK parliamentary sessions last five years. So assuming the vote tomorrow backs Mrs May, the next General Election after 2017 would now probably not happen until 2022.

Where will the election count take place locally?

It hasn’t been confirmed yet. But it won’t be at Salt Ayre Leisure Centre this time. In recent years the count has been held on the sports centre indoor football pitch. But this is no longer available after the centre was refurbished.