Word of the Day

snap election

A general election that is called earlier than expected

In a parliamentary democracy, a general election is held once every few years in which every adult can vote to determine the people who will represent them in parliament. A snap election refers to a swift and often unforeseen decision by the party in power to initiate a general election sooner than the fixed-term deadline.

In the UK, a general election is held once every five years. The last election was 7th May 2015 with the next election expected in 2020. Prime Minister Theresa May’s recent decision to trigger a snap election was brought to parliament this week and passed with aplomb by a near-unanimous vote, confirming that the next opportunity for British people to cast their ballot will be 8th June 2017.

The ‘snap’ element of this call to arms is often utilized as a tactic to exploit the opposition’s perceived weakness in any given political moment, as indicated by polls. In an effort to capitalize, a snap election is called by the government to seize the moment and bolster their majority in parliament, in the hope of ensuring manifesto policies are effected and legislation is passed due to a clear mandate.

This is certainly relevant with regard to the UK’s current political climate. The decision for a snap election seems consistent with the Tories’ highest reported polling lead in a decade, as they dedicate their campaign to riding the wave of crucial Brexit negotiations following the initiation of the process of leaving the European Union. With under 50 days until the critical day, Jeremy Corbyn’s Labour Party need to make up a 21 point deficit come the June judgement day and are appealing to the public with policies prioritizing social care and equality.

snap election

a general election (= an election in which every adult can vote for the people who will represent them in parliament) that is called earlier than expected
Theresa May calls snap election in bid to strengthen hand in Brexit talks.

About the author

Macmillan Dictionary Blog

Leave a Comment