This morning, UK Prime Minister Theresa May announced that the general election on June the 8th will go ahead despite the London Bridge Terror Attack.

Is there a precedent of an election being called of or postponed due to terrorist related violence?

  • What hasn't been addressed (at least in anything I've seen) is whether there is any legal mechanism for delaying a U.K. general election. Commented Jun 4, 2017 at 13:35
  • @SteveMelnikoff I've edited the question to include this point, but I assume one of the answers can be declare martial law? Scrap this I will ask as a separate question since this is about any electionand we want to know about the UK. Commented Jun 4, 2017 at 13:40
  • politics.stackexchange.com/questions/19514/… I've raised this point here. Commented Jun 4, 2017 at 13:46

2 Answers 2


Israel had primary elections for the Israeli Labor Party delayed by 24 hours because of security concerns - it clashed with a Britney Spears concert, and the police couldn't provide security for both. Israel suffers from terrorism, so it is likely the security concerns for the elections were terrorism-related.

Israel is postponing an election because of Britney Spears

Britney Spears is set to perform in Tel Aviv on July 3, which was the same day Israeli Labor Party had planned to hold its leadership election. But citing a lack of security to cover both events, the election has now been pushed back 24 hours.


This seems to be quite rare and after doing a quick Wikipedia search using the keywords – "election", "postponed" and "terrorism", only the 2015 Nigerian general election seems relevant.

Basically, Nigeria postponed its general election by 6 weeks in 2015 due to security fears and threats of violence.

As quoted from this BBC article:

Election commission chief Attahiru Jega said the delay until 28 March was necessary because of a lack of troops available to protect voters.

Nigeria's military has been battling an insurgency by Boko Haram militants in the north-east of the country.

[ ... ]

The Boko Haram conflict has raged for five years but just days before the vote, Professor Jega was suddenly told the entire military would be focused solely on the north-east - in other words, "you are getting no help from the military, you are on your own". With the threat of violence so real, he was put in a tight corner.

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