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How unusual is a December general election?

2 November 2019

9:00 AM

2 November 2019

9:00 AM

A December election

How unusual is a December general election? Of the 56 elections held since 1800, 5 essentially took place in December: in 1868, 1900, 1910, 1918 and 1923, although prior to the first world war voting took place over several days and weeks and so cannot be pinned down to a single date. In 1910, voting took place between 6 December and 19 December.
— The month with the most elections is May, with 8 (5 of which have been held since 1979, followed by June and August with 7 apiece). No election has been held in September. We haven’t had an election in the second half of the year since October 1974. The last December election, in 1923, resulted in the first Labour government, although Ramsay MacDonald relied on support from the Liberals.

How many people?

How good are civil servants at estimating future population growth? The population of the UK at the 2011 census was 63.2 million. What would the UK’s population have been in 2011 if forecasts made in previous years had been accurate?

1977 57.7m
1983 58.0m
1987 60.0m
1994 60.4m
2000 61.9m
2006 62.7m

Source: OBR fiscal sustainability report, 2014

The biggest ports

How much do we import and export through our largest ports?

Millions of tonnes in 2016
Imports / Exports
London 43.2 / 7.2
Grimsby and Immingham 38.9 / 15.5
Liverpool 23.8 / 8.1
Milford Haven 23.4 / 11.4
Southampton 21.6 / 14.4
Felixstowe 17.0 / 11.2
Dover 16.3 / 11.0
Forth 4.1 / 23.4

Source: Department of Transport

A December election

31 January 2020 is our latest date for leaving the EU. If it happens, with which historic events will Brexit share its anniversary?
1606 Execution of Guy Fawkes
1747 First venereal disease clinic opened in London
1910 Dr Crippen poisons his wife
1943 German 6th army surrenders at Stalingrad
1953 North Sea tidal surge drowns 307 people in eastern England
2000 Harold Shipman jailed for life

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