Prime Minister Boris Johnson has said he doesn’t want a general election.
But if he loses a vote that would force the government to extend the Brexit deadline, Mr Johnson says he will try to trigger an early poll.
The PM says the election would happen on 15 October, two days before a crucial European Union summit in Brussels.
So, how are UK general elections called?
Why would the PM hold an early election?
Legally, the next election does not have to happen until 2022 – five years after the last one.
While calling an early election carries risks, Mr Johnson would aim to win more Conservative seats – making it easier to pass new laws and deliver Brexit.
How would it happen?
Under the Fixed Term Parliaments Act, a prime minister can no longer call an election on their own. They must have the backing of at least two-thirds of MPs.
In other words, at least 434 MPs would have to give the green light to an early election.
So, even if Mr Johnson wants an early election, there’s no guarantee he would gain enough support.
Who chooses the date?
The precise day of the election is in the prime minister’s hands.
When Theresa May called an early election in 2017, the motion that MPs voted on simply said: “There shall be an early parliamentary general election”.
The important point is that it did not set out a specific date.