Why are general elections in the UK held on
Thursday?

Why are general elections in the UK held on Thursday?

The upcoming election will see Brits head to the polling station as they decide the future of the UK.

The election will mark the first since 2019 which saw the conservatives win and Boris Johnson become Prime Minster.

Following the announcement of the general election date, many Brits have noticed that it’s set to take place on a Thursday again, but there’s a reason general elections are held on Thursdays.

Why are general elections in the UK held on Thursday?

Ever since 1931, general elections have been held on a Thursday with the upcoming one marking the 22nd in a row.

Though there is no specific answer, there are a few that all relate to why Thursday.

One of the most popular and sensible answers is that Thursdays allow for the smoothest running when it comes to government changes.


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Voting on a Thursday means ballots can be counted overnight with many results announced on Friday morning.

That allows the Prime Minster to arrange their Cabinet over the weekend, move to Downing Street (if new) and be ready to brief civil servants bright and earlier, Monday morning.

But, there are also links that Thursday work for the weekly pay packet, it was the day before pay day as well as market days, meaning many people would head to town where polling stations also were.

Do you get a day off from work to vote in the UK for the general election?

In the UK, you are not entitled to a day off from work to be able to vote in a general election.

However, those who can not go to a polling station in person on the day of an election can vote by post or proxy.

Postal votes must be completed and sent off ahead of the election to count with guidance encouraging you to post your ballot as soon as possible to make sure it’s counted.

If you do miss the chance to post your ballot for it to be counted, you can take it to your local polling station by 10pm on the election day or the Electoral Registration Office.

Voting by proxy takes place when you’re unable to vote in person and ask someone to vote on your behalf.

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