snap election

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From snap (done, performed, etc., quickly and unexpectedly)[1] + election.



snap election (plural snap elections)

  1. (politics) An election that is called earlier than the regularly scheduled election time.
    • 1852, “No. 18. Notes and Comments Submitted by S. R. Mallory, of Florida, upon the Printed Statements and Arguments Addressed to the Select Committee of the United States Senate, by and in behalf of D. L. Yulee, to Sustain His Claim to the Seat Held by S. R. Mallory. July, 1852.”, in The Miscellaneous Documents of the Senate of the United States, during the First Session of the Thirty-second Congress, Washington, D.C.: A. Boyd Hamilton, [], OCLC 24408846, page 254:
      A legislature should no more encourage and sustain snap elections, than a court should encourage and sustain snap judgment.
    • 1887 September, Clara Brinkerhoff, “Art or Trade?: The Music Teachers’ National Association Dividing into an Eastern and a Western Wing”, in Edgar S. Werner, editor, The Voice: Devoted to the Human Voice in All Its Phases, volume IX, number 9, New York, N.Y.: Edgar S. Werner, OCLC 13550982, page 139, column 1:
      The echoes of the election of President by snap election ticket, which had been brewing sub rosa for almost a year, forced these views upon my mind.
    • 1942 December 4, Peter Fraser, Prime Minister, “Business of the House”, in New Zealand. Parliamentary Debates. Fourth Session, Twenty-sixth Parliament. Legislative Council and House of Representatives (House of Representatives), volume 261, Wellington, New Zealand: E. V. Paul, government printer, OCLC 191255532, page 948, column 2:
      Mr. [Sidney] HOLLAND.—I think it is important for the House to know, because there are fairly widespread rumours going round of a general election. I do not know where the rumours came from. The Right Hon. Mr. [Peter] FRASER said that he could not authenticate the rumours. There would not be anything in the nature of a snap election.
    • 1965 February 23, F. J. Bigg, “Pensions: Provisions for Establishment of Contributory Program”, in Canada: House of Commons Debates: Official Report: Second Session—Twenty Sixth Parliament: 13 Elizabeth II (House of Commons of Canada), volume XI, Ottawa, Canada: Roger Duhamel, [], OCLC 48316963, page 11654, column 2:
      Let hon. members stop putting the red strips of bacon under the cellophane in the hope that because they are getting in first or are yelling the loudest they are going to take all the political advantage they can from it, hoping to win a snap election by offering the old people nothing and covering it up with aid to a few in the 55 to 65 age group.
    • 1986 September 22, Corazon Aquino, “Speech during the Joint Session of the US Congress 1986”, in Anna Russell, So Here I Am: Speeches by Great Women to Empower and Inspire, London: White Lion Publishing, The Quarto Group, published 2019, →ISBN, page 103, column 1:
      Last year, in an excess of arrogance, the dictatorship called for its doom in a snap election. The people obliged. With over a million signatures, they drafted me to challenge the dictatorship. And I obliged.
    • 2000, Barry Gustafson, “The 1984 Election”, in His Way: A Biography of Robert Muldoon, Auckland: Auckland University Press, →ISBN, page 375:
      The chief whip was in no doubt that had [Marilyn] Waring agreed to tear up the letter, stay in the caucus, and attend select committees, [Robert] Muldoon would have accepted that and not contemplated a snap election.
    • 2006, Thitinan Pongsudhirak, “Thaksin’s Political Zenith and Nadir”, in Daljit Singh and Lorraine C[arlos] Salazar, editors, Southeast Asian Affairs 2006, Singapore: Institute of Southeast Asian Studies, →ISBN, page 299:
      By dissolving the Lower House and calling a snap election, Thaksin [Shinawatra] intended to release the pressure from street protesters led by the PAD who had been demanding his immediate resignation.
    • 2011, W. Elliot Bulmer, “Introduction”, in A Model Constitution for Scotland: Making Democracy Work in an Independent State, Edinburgh: Luath Press, →ISBN, page 13:
      The Parliament was to be elected for fixed four-year terms, so that the Prime Minister would no longer be able to call snap elections to suit his own party's fortunes, nor cajole Parliament with the threat of arbitrary dissolution.



  1. ^ snap-, comb. form”, in OED Online Paid subscription required, Oxford, Oxfordshire: Oxford University Press, 1912: “In Parliamentary usage, [...] one obtained or taken unexpectedly or when comparatively few members are present.”

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