Will a UK general election take place before or after Christmas? Here are the scenarios

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

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

Brexit Party leader Nigel Farage has signalled he is ready for a general election

Brexit Party leader Nigel Farage has signalled he is ready for a general election

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

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

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

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

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But MPs may want to wait until after 31 October, 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 4-5 November. Parliament would be dissolved on 7 November, with polling day falling on 12 December.

A dissolution any later than 7 November 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 9 January.

This would mean dissolution on 2 December. However, 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 9 January followed by polling day on 13 February.