A General Election has been called – what happens now?

Atticus Partners

In the pouring rain and with the dulcet tones of Tony Blair’s 1997 anthem ‘Things Can Only Get Better’ being blasted in the background, the Prime Minister has called the General Election for 4th July. Will American Independence Day prove to be lucky for the California-loving tech bro? As candidates hit the doorstep and canvassers start calling voters, below, we set out what the upcoming weeks and months will look like. 

By precedent, Parliament will usually be dissolved five weeks before the date of the General Election, during which the country goes into a period colloquially called ‘purdah.’ All Bills in Parliament will fall unless agreed to by both the main parties in the period leading up to Parliament being dissolved known as the ‘wash-up’ period. 

All business in the House comes to an end and every seat in the House of Commons becomes vacant, meaning there are no longer any MPs. Ministers remain in post until a new government is formed after the election and are to “observe discretion” in initiating new policy or action of “a continuing or long-term character” unless they are unavoidable.   

Government activity – including the activities of public bodies – should not compete with the election campaign, and announcements and government communications are tightly restricted.  It is also clear that Government resources are not allowed to be used for party political purposes.  

With Labour flying ahead in the polls, many will be surprised that Rishi has chosen to gamble his premiership earlier than he needed to. Some speculate that the letters of no confidence were building up and the ‘men in grey suits’ were coming for the Prime Minister. His speech echoed the challenges of post war England, reflecting his achievements as Chancellor during the pandemic. It is fitting that the last July election was in 1945, ushering in the Labour government which created the NHS. The Leader of the Opposition certainly wants to achieve similar, with his language around the decade of national renewal. What happens remains to be seen…
Next steps

Atticus Partners will be working closely with our clients to potentially transition across to a new government and provide real time strategic advice. Please do contact us on info@atticuscomms.com should you want to engage our services.   

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