UK Election

8 things you might not know about the UK election, currency and more

From snap election to Tudor coins, find out more about UK political history, currency and more

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8 things you might not know about the UK election, currency and more

  1. The 2017 snap election is the first to be called by government in over 4 decades and the only one to have required parliamentary approval.
  2. There are 650 Members of Parliament to be elected, but only 427 seats on the benches of the House of Commons.
  3. The last time any party achieved an absolute majority in a UK general election was in 1931.
  4. This was also the last general election not to take place on a Thursday.
  5. Theresa May is the 13th person to serve as prime minister under Elizabeth II. The most under any monarch was 14, during George III’s reign.
  6. All UK coins since Tudor times have featured an image of the reigning monarch – historically the only way a civilian would have known what they looked like.
  7. The pound is believed to be the oldest currency still in use today, dating back to Anglo-Saxon England, around 700 AD.
  8. The highest value the pound has ever reached against the dollar was in 1933 when the US devalued its currency and £1 was equivalent to US$5.

Sources: 1. Fixed-term Parliaments Act 2011 Research Briefing, House of Commons Library, last updated April 2017; 'Unelected' Prime Ministers: common or not?, Full Fact, July 2016. 2. Churchill and the Commons Chamber, www.parliament.uk, last updated April 2017. 3. Election Statistics 1918-2007, House of Commons Library Research Paper, February 2008; General election results from 1945-2015, UK Political Info, last updated June 2015. 4. General election, www.parliament.uk, first published April 2010. 5. Past Prime Ministers, UK Government, last updated June 2016. 6. A brief history of monarchs on coins, The Royal Mint, first published March 2015. 7. Currency Encyclopedia, XE, last updated May 2017. 8. A short history of the British pound, World Economic Forum, June 2016.

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