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Snap general election: Four scenarios for an early polling day

The earliest date is probably November 28 but the latest is as far away as February 13. Credit: PA

Every party leader wants a snap general election but only Prime Minister Boris Johnson wants one right now.

With opposition leaders unable to agree on when to vote for one, time is running out for a general election to take place before the Christmas season.

The earliest date for polling day is probably Thursday November 28.

By law, Parliament has to be dissolved 25 working days before a general election.

For an election on November 28, dissolution would need to take place on October 24.

This would give MPs time to debate and vote on the Queen’s Speech, which is taking place on October 14.

Credit: PA graphic

It also avoids a clash with the EU summit of October 17/18.

But MPs may want to wait until after October 31, the day on which the Government says the UK will leave the EU, with or without a deal, before triggering an election.

Under this scenario, MPs could hold the trigger-vote on November 4 or 5, Parliament would be dissolved on November 7, with polling day falling on December 12.

A dissolution any later than November 7 would push the election very close to Christmas.

A third scenario could see MPs try to fix polling day for as early as possible in the new year, probably on January 9.

Credit: PA graphic

This would mean dissolution on December 2, however, and it seems unlikely politicians would wish to spend the festive period campaigning.

MPs may therefore decide to sit tight and wait until Christmas is out of the way before triggering an election, with dissolution potentially on January 9 followed by polling day on February 13.