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Scottish Elections (Dates) Act 2016

Date of general election for Scottish Parliament

4.Section 1 of the Act provides that the ordinary general election for the Scottish Parliament which is scheduled to take place on 7 May 2020 will instead be scheduled to take place on 6 May 2021. Subsequent ordinary general elections will be scheduled to be held on the first Thursday in May in the fourth calendar year after the May 2021 general election.

5.The provisions in the Scotland Act 1998 which relate to setting and varying the date of ordinary and extraordinary general elections are unaffected by this change, i.e. section 1 of the Act retains the power for the Presiding Officer of the Scottish Parliament to propose another date within a month of the election scheduled for 6 May 2021 (in section 2(5) of the Scotland Act 1998) and allows section 3(3) of the Scotland Act 1998 to operate so that an extraordinary general election within the six months before 6 May 2021 will result in cancellation of the 6 May poll.

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Text created by the Scottish Government to explain what the Act sets out to achieve and to make the Act accessible to readers who are not legally qualified. Explanatory Notes were introduced in 1999 and accompany all Acts of the Scottish Parliament except those which result from Budget Bills.


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