This House of Lords Library briefing sets out the start and end dates of each parliamentary session since 1900, together with the number of calendar days between the end of the previous session and the start of the new one.Jump to full report >>
Prorogation is the mechanism by which parliamentary sessions are ended. On 28 August 2019, it was announced that Parliament would be prorogued no later than 12 September 2019. It was confirmed on 9 September that Parliament would be prorogued later that day, bringing an end to the current 2017-19 session which started in June 2017. A Royal Commission formally prorogued Parliament on Tuesday 10 September 2019 at 1:40am.
The new parliamentary session is due on 14 October 2019, 33 calendar days after the end of the 2017-19 session. This would constitute the largest number of calendar days between the end of one session and the start of the next since the 1930-31 session (excluding first sessions of new parliaments, ie those following general elections).
To put the 33 calendar days into context:
Figures for first sessions of new parliaments (ie those following a general election) are available in the data table below. These will have larger gaps between the end of the previous session and the start of the first of the new parliament, encompassing dissolution and subsequent election periods.
The calculations provide the number of whole calendar days between the close of each session and the start of the next. Calendar days enable direct comparison across the period considered. This method avoids the need to take into account variation/expectation in sitting patterns, both in terms of when sessions start and end (eg time of year) and the days each House would have expected to sit at that time. The number of calendar days given will also include weekends and bank holidays that fell between any two dates. Additionally, they will include days it might be expected would fall within a periodic adjournment. Adjournments typically include for Easter, summer and Christmas. However, the occasions for adjournment, and the length, will vary depending on the period considered.
Lords Library notes LLN-2019-0111
Author: Matthew Purvis
The House of Lords Library delivers research and information services to Members and staff of the House in support of parliamentary business.