The pre-election period

24 April 2017


Due to the impending general election there are a number of implications for the work of government departments and civil servants.

These arise from the special character of government business during an election campaign, and from the need to maintain, and be seen to maintain, the impartiality of the Civil Service, and to avoid any criticism of an inappropriate use of official resources.


Between midnight on Friday 21 April and the general election on Thursday 8 June 2017 is the pre-election period.


During the election period, the government retains its responsibility to govern, and Ministers remain in charge of their departments. Essential business continues, however it is customary for Ministers to observe discretion in initiating any new action of a continuing or long term character.

Decisions on matters of policy on which a new government might be expected to want the opportunity to take a different view from the present government are usually postponed until after the election, provided that such postponement would not be detrimental to the national interest or wasteful of public money.


CIPP comment

One of the effects of the pre-election period (purdah) is that consultation work slows down and there will be a delay on any expected publications. There will of course be new political party manifestos so there is also the potential for inclusion of initiatives that have been taken off the table; pensions tax relief could be one example. The Policy team will continue working behind the scenes to keep you informed of any possible implications for payroll professionals during and after the general election.