The three election phases

A general election is held at least every three years. There are three phases of an election cycle. The three election phases are:

  • the pre-election period
  • election day
  • the post-election period, during which time there are negotiations and the new government is formed.

Although a general election is usually held every three years, the Prime Minister can announce an election date any time during a three-year term. Generally, an election is announced well in advance of the election date. However, if there is a snap election, the election is called earlier, and comparatively short notice may be given. Much of this guidance concerns the election period from the start of the pre-election period until a new government is sworn in.

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