U.K. 2024 General Election: What to Know

  • Why does this election matter?

  • How does Britain vote?

  • What are the main issues?

  • Who is running, and who is likely to win?

  • When will we find out the results?

  • Where can I find more information?

Why does this election matter?

The general election on July 4 is a pivotal moment for Britain after 14 years of government by the Conservative Party. The last full parliamentary election was in December 2019, when Boris Johnson won a landslide victory for the Conservatives, propelled by his charisma and a promise to “Get Brexit done” after the country’s decision to leave the European Union in a 2016 referendum.

A lot has changed since then. In July, voters will give their verdict on five tumultuous years of government that have spanned the coronavirus pandemic, the troubled implementation of Brexit, the “Partygate” scandal around Mr. Johnson’s rule-breaking during pandemic lockdowns and the disastrous six-week tenure of Prime Minister Liz Truss.

The Parliament in London. Voters in each of the country’s 650 constituencies will select a candidate to represent them as a member of Parliament.Credit…Hollie Adams/Reuters

Polls suggest that the center-left Labour Party is set to return to power after more than a decade in opposition, which would bring a fundamental realignment to British politics.

How does Britain vote?

The United Kingdom — which consists of England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales — is divided into 650 constituencies.

Voters in each constituency select a candidate to represent them as a member of Parliament, and the political party that wins the most seats usually forms the next government. That party’s leader also becomes prime minister.

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