This list notes the number of days sat by the House of Commons in each parliamentary session since 1945


Parliamentary sessions

Before the Fixed Term Parliaments Act 2011, parliamentary sessions varied in length within each Parliament. The calling of a general election would generally curtail a session and the session following an election would be longer, until the start of the new session marked by the Queen’s Speech in November.

Since the Fixed Term Parliaments Act set the date of the general election as the first Thursday in May of every fifth year*, All sessions since the 2010 Parliament have run for 12 months following the State Opening in Spring. The exception to this was the 2010-12 session at the start of the Parliament.

* See Section 2.2 of the briefing on the Fixed Term Parliament Act 2011 for when Early Elections could be held.

Further information on sittings and sitting hours 

For information on trends in the number of sitting days and hours of the House of Commons, see the Commons briefing on House of Commons: hours sat and late sittings since 1979.

The Commons briefing on Sitting hours outlines changes to the Commons sitting hours that applied from 15 October 2012.

TIP: To check the number of days the House has sat during a session, check the issue number on the front cover of the Votes and Proceedings, the formal daily record of House of Commons business.


Any comments of correction to the list would be gratefully received and should be sent to: Parliamentary Information Lists Editor, Parliament and Constitution Centre, House of Commons, London SW1A 0AA.

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