Four scenarios for when a general election could take place

Time is running out for a general election to take place before the Christmas season.

The earliest date for polling day is probably Thursday November 28.

By law, Parliament has to be dissolved 25 working days before a general election.

For an election on November 28, dissolution would need to take place on October 24.

This would give MPs time to debate and vote on the Queen's Speech, which is taking place on October 14.

POLITICS Brexit Election
(PA graphic)

It also avoids a clash with the EU summit of October 17/18.

But MPs may want to wait until after October 31, the day on which the Government says the UK will leave the EU, with or without a deal, before triggering an election.

Under this scenario, MPs could hold the trigger-vote on November 4 or 5, Parliament would be dissolved on November 7, with polling day falling on December 12.

A dissolution any later than November 7 would push the election very close to Christmas.

A third scenario could see MPs try to fix polling day for as early as possible in the new year, probably on January 9.

POLITICS Brexit Election
(PA graphic)

This would mean dissolution on December 2, however, and it seems unlikely politicians would wish to spend the festive period campaigning.

MPs may therefore decide to sit tight and wait until Christmas is out of the way before triggering an election, with dissolution potentially on January 9 followed by polling day on February 13.

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