The Spectator

How often has a general election been held on a Monday?

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A Monday poll?

The government was considering a general election on 14 October — a Monday. This raised eyebrows because general elections have been held on Thursdays since 1935. There are various theories about why — that it gives an incoming PM a weekend to form a new government, that it was market day in many towns, that fewer voters would be drunk than at the weekend, that by Thursday churchgoers would have forgotten the previous Sunday’s sermon at parish communion. But there is no single reason — each PM has been free to decide.

— Until 1918, general elections were held over a period of four weeks. Elections were then held on Saturday (1918), Tuesday (1931), Wednesday (1922 and 1924), and Thursday (1923 and 1929). We have never had a general election on a Monday.

Teachers’ pay

The government said it will increase teachers’ starting salaries to £30,000, an increase of £6,000. Analysis by recruitment website Glassdoor suggests only four professions offer graduates more money in their first year of employment:

Investment banking analyst

£50,752

Software engineer

£34,106

Business analyst

£32,142

Data scientist

£30,791

Teachers will earn slightly more than civil engineers (£28,475), audit assistants (£28,288) and mechanical engineers (£28,273).

Gathering storms

Is the number of hurricanes increasing? Number of North Atlantic storms which reached hurricane strength over the past two decades:

1995

11

1996

9

1997

3

1998

10

1999

8

2000

8

2001

9

2002

4

2003

7

2004

9

2005

15

2006

5

2007

6

2008

8

2009

3

2010

12

2011

7

2012

10

2013

2

2014

6

2015

4

2016

7

2017

10

2018

8

Source: NOAA

Popular attractions

The National Trust blamed last year’s heatwave for disappointing visitor numbers. What were the most-visited attractions?

Visits in 2018/19

Giant’s Causeway, Northern Ireland

738,508

Clumber Park, Notts

677,136

Attingham Park, Shropshire

511,687

Cliveden, Bucks

499,043

Carrick-a-Rede (clifftop and rope bridge in Northern Ireland)

497,623

Waddesdon Manor, Bucks

471,886