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Last Updated: Wednesday March 30 2005 12:10 GMT

What's happened since the last election?

The wreckage of the World Trade Center
The wreckage of the World Trade Center
News events since the last election: 2001

June: Labour Party re-elected in General Election. A total of 59% of the people eligible to vote voted in the election - the lowest turnout since 1918.

William Hague resigns as leader of the Conservative Party. It was the second worst performance for the party since 1832.

July: Race riots in Oldham, Burnley and Bradford.

September: Thousands of people were killed and injured in a series of attacks on America that shocked the world.

Terrorists hijacked four passenger planes and crashed two of them into the World Trade Center in New York.

Another plane crashed into The Pentagon - the US military headquarters in Washington DC.

A fourth plane crashed in a rural area near Pittsburgh, killing all those on board.

September: Iain Duncan Smith elected new leader of the Conservative party.

October: UK offers strong support for US-led campaign against international terrorism. British forces took part in air strikes on Afghanistan after leaders of an extreme religious group called the Taleban refused to hand over September 11 suspect Osama Bin Laden, who was based in the country.

November: Taleban lose control of most of Afghanistan.

Holly Wells and Jessica Chapman
Holly Wells and Jessica Chapman
News events since the last election: 2002

March: Queen Mother died at the age of 101.

June: Queen Elizabeth celebrated 50 years on the throne - her Golden Jubilee.

August: Ban on fox hunting introduced in Scotland

August: Ten-year-olds Holly Wells and Jessica Chapman from Soham were killed.

October: Northern Ireland Assembly suspended. It had been set up so politicians from the area could work together to run things there.

But there were rows between the parties which led to powers being temporarily returned to the UK government in London.

November: UK firefighters went on strike in a row over pay.

Saddam after his capture
Saddam after his capture
News events since the last election: 2003

March: The war with Iraq started, with the bombing of Baghdad. The US and UK governments thought Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction.

April: The fall of Saddam. The bombing lasted for 24 nights. Lots of kids walked out of class to protest against the war.

June: Fifth Harry Potter book Order Of The Phoenix came out.

October: Tory party leader Iain Duncan Smith lost his job, when party members had to vote on whether he should stay or not.

December: Saddam Hussein disappeared after his fall from power. He was found in December, hiding in a hole near his hometown of Tikrit in Iraq.

December: Ian Huntley found guilty of murdering Soham schoolgirls Holly Wells and Jessica Chapman. He was given two life sentences.

Children rescued from the Beslan siege
Children rescued from the Beslan siege
News events since the last election: 2004

July: MPs voted to ban fox hunting with dogs in England and Wales

September: An armed gang took over a school in the small Russian town of Beslan. The siege ended when troops stormed the building, but 340 people - many of them children - were killed.

May: Campaigns were launched to help 2 million people in the Darfur region of Sudan, who have been made homeless due to fighting and violence.

December: A deadly tsunami, trigged by an earthquake, hit Asia. More than 250,000 people were killed.

Clearing up after the tsunami
Clearing up after the tsunami
News events since the last election: 2005

January: Many Asian countries hit by the tsunami attempted to recover from the disaster. International aid flooded in and there were many amazing stories of survival.

February: Iraq held its first democratic election in 50 years. The results reveal Shia Muslims won most of the seats.

April: Prime Minister Tony Blair calls a General Election. The last one was held in June 2001.

Election 2005

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