What is a General Election?
Members of the public decide who to vote for by considering a number of factors including; each political party’s manifesto promises, or the candidates themselves.
There are 650 Members of Parliament who make up the House of Commons, one for each of the UK’s 650 constituencies. General Elections also decide which party will govern the country and become the Government, based on the party that wins at least 50% (325) of the constituencies in the UK.
If none of the political parties get over 325 (half) of their MPs elected across all the constituencies then they may choose to team up (or form a coalition) with other parties to form a government, or run as a minority government. Given laws need a majority of support in Parliament, a minority government is less likely to pass laws and gain support from the opposition.
General Elections take place every 5 years, although the Prime Minister can call an early election if they feel it is necessary.
How do they work?
First Past the Post (FPTP) is the electoral system used to elect MPs to the House of Commons. With FPTP the winning candidate only needs one vote more than their leading opponent in order to win their seat.