General Election 2024

Read our updates on issues relevant to charities for the upcoming election. Learn more

General election 2024: What charities should be doing

After much speculation, the Prime Minister has surprised most Westminster watchers by calling an election for 4 July – charities will now bring forward their election plans and think about their activity over the next seven weeks. So here are some of the key things you can do.

Use the opportunity to get your voice heard

Elections provide an important opportunity to discuss the major issues of the day, so some charities will find themselves at the centre of debate.

This can create challenges but has the potential to give you a much bigger platform than you might normally have. Make sure you have strong messaging that can get your points across to that unusually attentive audience.

Remember legislation could be passed quickly

Between the announcement of a general election and the dissolution of parliament on 30 May, parliament will go into a period known as ‘wash-up’. This is where the parties can agree to quickly pass legislation currently going through parliament.

This will generally only happen if the legislation is seen to be non-controversial. It will be difficult to influence this process but it might be useful to check in with any politicians you’ve been working with on bills, particularly if you feel strongly that passing that legislation will be detrimental.

Read the Institute for Government's guide on what happens once a general election is called.

Check the rules so you can campaign with confidence

Charities can sometimes be wary of the risks associated with campaigning, but charities can do many things to campaign and influence policy within the rules.

With the Association of Chief Executives of Voluntary Organisations (ACEVO), we’ve set out what the guidance from the Charity Commission and Electoral Commission says and what you need to think about when planning election activity.

Read NCVO and ACEVO's guidance on campaigning during an election.

Think about how to engage after the election

Many charities will be busy updating their plans in the next few days and weeks. However, as the campaign goes on, you may find you have less to do as the political parties will only be focused on what’s happening in the campaign.

This is a good time to plan what you will do after the election and research likely new MPs. Even if no seats change hands, over 100 MPs will be standing down. As a result, next year represents a really good opportunity to build relationships with new MPs.

For national charities, it’s also a great time to think about:

  • how you’re going to approach the new government
  • what your influencing priorities will be
  • and plan activities for the weeks after 4 July.

We’ll publish the NCVO and ACEVO manifesto in the coming weeks, which sets out what we think the next government’s priorities should be for the voluntary sector.

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