Could the Election Be Held in May? PM Could Call Polls in Just Eight Weeks

Voters (Credits: The Statesman)

The Chancellor’s recent comments have reignited speculation about the timing of the general election, with many pondering whether it could be held as soon as 2 May.

Despite Jeremy Hunt suggesting that the decision on when to go to the polls is above his pay grade, his Budget announcement has led to fresh speculation about a possible May election.

By targeting ‘non-doms’ and North Sea oil and gas firms to fund a 2p cut to national insurance, Hunt has disrupted Labour’s plans to raise funds for their spending plans in these areas. This move has led to suggestions that Rishi Sunak might call a general election as early as eight weeks.

Voters’ Participation (Credits: Ford Foundation)

While most senior Tories believe that the Prime Minister will wait until autumn before calling an election, sources have indicated Sunak has told aides that the budget was one that he “could take to the country in May if he needed to.”

Although the PM has not ruled out a general election before the summer, he declined to provide any further details when asked about a potential May election on BBC Radio 2.

If Sunak were to opt for a 2 May general election, the latest date he would need to dissolve Parliament is 26 March, coinciding with the House of Commons‘ Easter recess.

Before hitting the campaign trail, this would leave a tight timeline for passing the Rwanda Bill, a key piece of legislation for the government’s pledge to ‘Stop the Boats’.

The Bill, which aims to revive Sunak’s plan to deport asylum seekers to Africa, has been delayed in the House of Lords. This has necessitated a process known as ‘ping-pong’ between the Commons and Lords to agree on a final version.

This process is expected to conclude by 20 March, allowing Sunak a few days to initiate migrant deportation flights to Rwanda before calling a general election. However, complications arise due to commemorations marking 30 years since Rwanda’s genocide, which began on 7 April.

The Rwandan government reportedly does not want the asylum deal with Britain to overshadow these events and is unlikely to accept migrant flights until late April. This could influence the timing of any potential general election and may prompt Sunak to consider other dates.

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