The three election phases
A general election is held at least every three years. There are three phases of an election cycle. The three election phases are:
- the pre-election period
- election day
- the post-election period, during which time there are negotiations and the new government is formed.
Although a general election is usually held every three years, the Prime Minister can announce an election date any time during a three-year term. Generally, an election is announced well in advance of the election date. However, if there is a snap election, the election is called earlier, and comparatively short notice may be given. Much of this guidance concerns the election period from the start of the pre-election period until a new government is sworn in.