How Long Can A Person Be Prime Minister in UK (And Why)?

Exact Answer: 5 Years

The United Kingdom or the UK is made up of England, Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland. There has been a total of 55 Prime Ministers in the UK. The Prime Ministers are generally elected for a period of 5 years. This can extend when the same person gets elected again in the next election. On the other hand, there are also cases of not fulfilling the term and retiring early. This mainly happens when the person is not well or when he/she dies. Looking at the history of Prime Ministers in the UK, Sir Robert Walpole served for a period of 20 years and 314 days, which is the longest, and George Canning, who served for a period of 119 days.

How Long Does It Take To Be A Prime Minister In UK?

Prime MinisterTime
Same Winning Party From The Last Election <1 Day
New Winning Party >1 Day

Time taken to be a Prime Minister in the UK generally depends on the members of the winning party at the election. If the party of the previous Prime Minister won the election with a majority, the party can keep the same person as the Prime Minister or they can vote among themselves to appoint a new Prime Minister. On the other hand, if a new party won the election with a majority, a new Prime Minister will be appointed from that party. There is a third case, where there is no clear majority. In that situation, the parties try to form a coalition to get a majority, which generally takes a few days. They take care of the day-to-day government business and tries to elect a Prime Minister among themselves. If no conclusion is reached, then the coalition is disbanded and the Queen is suggested to have another election.

Before the next elections take place, a temporary Prime Minister would be elected for a short time. To be a Prime Minister, a person should have to have experience in politics. Between a newly joined member of the cabinet and an experienced member with a political background, the latter will be preferred to be a Prime Minister over the other. Newly joined members can also be Prime Minister in the UK, but it takes time to be so. They need to know the situation of the nation and gain experience.

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Why Does It Take So Long To Be A Prime Minister In UK?

Time is a variable factor in the election of a Prime Minister in the UK. Not every elected Prime Minister needs to take a large amount of time to be one. Serving for consecutive terms takes next to no time to be a Prime Minister as he will be continuing his tenure. When a new Prime Minister is elected, he/she has to do a few formalities before officially becoming the Prime Minister, which takes a bit of time. But when a person forms a new party, to be the Prime Minister, he/she has to prove themselves as to why the people should vote them, take part in the elections, win the elections, and then only he/she can become the Prime Minister, after being appointed by the Queen.

Another reason, for the time factor, being an important matter is that when a coalition Government is formed, the elected Prime Minister can be elected out of the blue. He/she can a new member or even an old member, as more than one party is involved and everyone’s vote is regarded important.

Conclusion

When a new party wins the election and there is no able-bodied person or if there is a situation where who will reside as a new Prime Minister is not clear, the incumbent Prime Minister will not hand over his/her resignation. After appointing the new Prime Minister, the incumbent Prime Minister will hand over his/her resignation to Buckingham Palace. After getting appointed, the new Prime Minister is asked by the Queen to form a Government, which is a formality, and after that, he/she heads to 10 Downing Street. Even amid all the elections, the power to appoint a Prime Minister still resides in the hands of The Queen.

References

  1. https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/abs/10.1111/1467-856x.00110
  2. https://books.google.com/books?hl=en&lr=&id=8Vqrfs36ejkC&oi=fnd&pg=PP9&dq=Uk+prime+minister+&ots=TjI6t_ZsjB&sig=cX-FwXzOJFGbnneU23rjEuuIuL0

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