Since moving to the UK in 2011, I’ve experienced a handful of elections: London Mayoral Elections in 2012 and 2016, the Scottish independence referendum in 2014, the 2015 General Election, and of course, the referendum on the UK’s membership in the European Union (“Brexit”) in 2016.
But what our Prime Minister Theresa May announced yesterday – that General Elections will be called ahead of their scheduled May 2020 date – will be my first Snap Election. What does this mean? Here are few key points, written especially for my friends and family who aren’t familiar with British politics &/or Parliamentary systems of government.
What is a snap election?
In the UK, General Elections are normally held every five years. They can be held earlier however, in what is known as a “snap election.” Put simply, a snap election is an election called earlier than expected. In this instance, three years earlier! They occur in Parliamentary systems to capitalise on a unique electoral opportunity, or to decide a pressing issue.