Page last updated at 14:16 GMT, Wednesday, 20 August 2008 15:16 UK
Electoral timetable

Once a General Election is called or the by-election process has been started, set electoral timetables apply.

These are laid down in the Parliamentary Election Rules contained in the Representation of the People Act 1983.

The basic rule is that a general election must take place on the 17th day, excluding Sundays and holidays, following the date of the proclamation summoning the new Parliament.

In recent times this has been the same day as the dissolution of the old Parliament.

The timetable for by-elections is flexible - within certain limits - whereas the General Election timetable is more rigidly set.

More from BBC Democracy Live
Compare who does what across the UK and Europe
Our A-Z of words used in the business of politics
Discover what BBC Democracy Live has to offer you


Sign in

BBC navigation

Copyright © 2016 BBC. The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.

Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific