History and Tour

The Missing Days

Henry Pelham There can often be breaks in the holding of the office of the Prime Minister, usually if the handover of power follows an election defeat or the death, resignation or retirement of the current PM.

In the 18th century there were 98 days post-Walpole when the UK officially had no prime minister.

In the next century this figure rose to 192, but there were only 13 such days in the 20th century and none so far since 2000.

There have been twelve handovers after one-day, seven after a two-day gap and a further eight following a three-day pause.

The longest gap so far was the fifty-six day period in 1743 after the Earl of Wilmington’s death and the appointment of Henry Pelham. That was twice as long as the time between Perceval’s assassination and Liverpool’s assumption of office.

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History and Tour