Thursday - Events Held On Thursdays - Elections in The United Kingdom

Elections in The United Kingdom

In the United Kingdom, all general elections since 1935 have been held on a Thursday, and this has become a tradition, although not a requirement of the law — which only states that an election may be held on any day "except Saturdays, Sundays, Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, Good Friday, bank holidays in any part of the United Kingdom and any day appointed for public thanksgiving and mourning". An explanation sometimes given for the choice of Thursday as polling day is that it was, in most towns, the traditional market day, although it has also been observed that the choice has practical advantages — with the outcome of the election being known by Friday, the new or continuing administration then has the weekend to organise itself in preparation for the "government shop opening for business" on Monday, the first day of the new week following the election. It is sometimes thought that Thursday was the chosen polling day as it is furthest from the Friday and Weekend before, making it therefore the day when people were most sober.

Additionally, local elections are usually held on the first Thursday in May.

The Electoral Administration Act 2006 removed Maundy Thursday as an excluded day on the electoral timetable - therefore an election can now be held on Maundy Thursday, prior to this elections were sometimes scheduled on the Tuesday before as an alternative.

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