Over on the LSE’s British Politics blog, The Voice‘s Mark Pack has been explaining why commentators speculating about a snap general election have got it wrong:
Fixing the date of the next general election (and future ones) outside the control of the Prime Minister was a central part of the Conservative/Liberal Democrat coalition agreement because it was a way of guaranteeing the five-year deal. Otherwise the risk for the smaller party is that at any point the larger one can suddenly pull the rug out from under an agreement and call an election. No doubt it helped sweeten the pill for Conservatives that Gordon Brown had recently come under fire for dallying with different election dates, making fixed-term elections look rather more attractive to some Conservatives. Restricting the powers of politicians is always more appealing to politicians when it is the other side they imagine being restricted.
The legislation has a pair of caveats to the fixed-term, but if you read the full piece you will see why Mark says neither of them permit David Cameron to call a snap general election.
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