General elections are when the whole country gets to vote for the Members of Parliament who represent them in the House of Commons. The last General Election was held in December 2019 and saw Boris Johnson’s Conservatives win a majority of 80 seats.
The maximum term for Parliament is five years. As the current Parliament first met on December 17, 2019 it will be automatically dissolved on December 17, 2024. Polling Day would take place 25 days later, meaning the next General Election is currently due to take place in January 2025. However, the Queen can dissolve parliament before this date if the Prime Minister asks her to, and an election could be held sooner.
We saw early elections – often called snap elections – called in 2017 and 2019. In 2017, Theresa May called it in the hope of strengthening her hand in the Brexit negotiations, despite an election not being needed until 2020.
The Fixed-Term Parliament Act of 2011 said that there should be five-year periods between elections and only allowed earlier elections in specific circumstances which are if two-thirds of MPs voted for an early General Election, or if the House of Commons voted no confidence in the government, and failed to pass a motion of confidence in any government within 14 calendar days, according to Institute for Government .
On March 24, 2022, the government repealed the Fixed-term Parliaments Act meaning the Queen can dissolve the government at the request of the Prime Minister, so a General Election could be held any time. One thing is almost certain though, every General Election since 1931 has been held on a Thursday.
Who is likely to represent voters in Wales could be subject to a big shake-up however. A review of constituencies means the number of MPs representing Wales could be cut from 40 to 32 and see some constituencies split and others scrapped completely. You can read those plans here. They are being planned to reflect population changes across the UK.