House of Commons Library

By-election timetables

Published Monday, November 23, 2015

This House of Commons Library Briefing Paper gives background to the change in length of the by-election timetable effected by the Electoral Registration and Administration Act 2013. The Parliamentary by-election timetable is now between 21 and 27 working days from the issuing of the writ (it had previously been between 13 and 19 days). The Paper also gives details of the new model timetable.

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The Electoral Registration and Administration Act 2013 made provision to increase the length of Parliamentary election timetables, both for general and by-elections. This provision was brought into force on 6 April 2014 by article 3 of the Electoral Registration and Administration Act 2013 (Commencement No. 5 and Transitory Provisions) Order 2014. Consequently, Parliament was dissolved 25 rather than 17 working days before the general election on 7 May 2015. For further details see Library Briefing Paper 6574, Timetable for the UK Parliamentary general election.

The by-election timetable is now between 21 and 27 working days from the issuing of the writ (it had previously been between 13 and 19 days). This Briefing Paper provides some background to the change in the length of the election timetables and a model by-election timetable.

The first by-election of the 2015 Parliament will be held in Oldham West and Royton on 3 December 2015. The writ was issued on 2 November following the death of Labour MP Michael Meacher.

For the details of by-elections since the last general election see Library Briefing Paper 5833 By-elections since 2010.

Commons Briefing papers SN06609

Authors: Isobel White; Elise Uberoi

Topics: By-elections, Elections

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