While on your way to vote in a previous General Election, deciding who you want to represent you for the next five years, have you ever wondered why the polls are always held on Thursdays?
Or perhaps you asked yourself, as you ran into a polling station at 9.55pm, why Britain doesn't follow the example of our European neighbours, who largely hold elections on Sundays to increase participation.
On the eve of the snap General Election, as west London voters find someone to pick up their kids from after-school clubs while they queue to fulfil their democratic duty, we try to shed some light on the situation.
The first thing to point out is that making election day a Thursday was, until recently, a political custom rather than a legal requirement.
The Fixed-term Parliaments Act 2011 was the first piece of legislation on the subject.
It prescribed that all future General Elections should take place on the first Thursday in May every five years barring special circumstances, when an alternative date must be backed by two-thirds of MPs in a vote in the House of Commons.
Parliament stuck to the new rule in 2015 (with an election held on Thursday May 7), but it has gone off-script in 2017 by agreeing to an election on the second Thursday in June.
Which constituency am I in?
For anyone wondering what constituted "special circumstances", we can now conclude that pending Brexit negotiations fall into that category.
While polling on Thursdays may have been customary before 2011, it was indeed a strong tradition - every General Election has been held on a Thursday since 1935.
However, it seems there is no single, definitive reason for this but rather a hodge-podge of justifications.
The most popular theory is that governments were keen to prevent people voting under the “influence of publican and parson”.
This recalls a time when men received a pay packet in their hands every Friday and did their best to spend it all in the pub on Fridays and Saturdays, making them susceptible to pressure from the Conservative-leaning brewing companies.
They also went to church on Sundays, when they were influenced by the liberal-minded clergy.
On Thursdays, therefore, they were as far away from any undue pressure as they were likely to get.
It’s also possible that receiving a wage the day after an election made voters feel they had been rewarded for doing their civic duty.
In years gone by, Thursday was a traditional market day in towns across the country, meaning there would be more people passing polling stations.
On top of that, shops used to close early on Thursdays, meaning more people would have time on their hands to vote.
Another sensible theory is that elections are held on Thursdays so the new prime minister can form a cabinet over the weekend and the new government can start business the following Monday.
Whatever the reason, Thursday elections are now enshrined in law - so you can look forward to many more years of delaying your lunch or dinner to put a cross in a box.
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