Tag Archives: fixed-term parliaments

Fixed-term parliaments: 56% of voters support them, finds YouGov

I’ve written before about the fact I like fixed-term parliaments: In praise of 5-year fixed-term parliaments. You may remember that a few years ago, former Cambridge MP David Howarth tried to introduce them. Then in the Coalition Agreement, they became reality.

YouGov has asked the public what they think about them, and you can see the result below courtesy the New Statesman’s May2015 polling website:

yougov fixed term parliaments - 1

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LibLink: Mark Pack – Why David Cameron won’t be calling a snap general election

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

Posted in LibLink | Also tagged | 3 Comments

House of Lords waters down fixed-term Parliaments legislation

In a vote this week the House of Lords decided to make it significantly easier for future Parliaments to change the rules for fixed-term Parliaments.

The legislation going through Parliament to remove the power of the Prime Minister to fix election dates to their own convenience cannot make them fixed in perpetuity as no Parliament can bind future Parliaments in that way. So the question is how difficult is it for a future Parliament to change the rules – and hence how rigidly fixed the terms of Parliaments really are.

The government’s proposals would have required future Parliaments to pass primary legislation …

Posted in Election law | Also tagged | 9 Comments

Clegg on the “profound effect” of fixed-term Parliaments

NickClegg.com has noted the significance of today’s legislation to establish the principle of fixed-term parliaments, removing from Prime Ministerial whim the timing of future general elections:

“Establishing parliaments of fixed-terms is a straightforward, but fundamental, change in our politics. It is a simple constitutional innovation, but one that will have a profound effect.”

Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg has pledged the introduction of a five year fixed term parliaments will have a “profound effect” and lead to greater stability in the political system.

The Fixed term Parliaments Bill faces its second reading in the House of Commons this afternoon.

“Establishing parliaments of fixed-terms is

Posted in News and Parliament | Also tagged | 27 Comments

The coalition agreement: political reform

Welcome to the sixteenth in a series of posts going through the full coalition agreement section by section. You can read the full coalition document here.

The political reform section of the coalition document is the second longest in the whole agreement, beaten for length only by the NHS section. By now the headlines from this section are very familiar:

  • Fixed-term Parliaments
  • A referendum on the alternative vote
  • The ability for voters to force an MP to face a special by-election if they have been found guilty of serious wrongdoing (“recall”)
  • A “wholly or mainly” elected House of Lords, using proportional representation
  • Any petition that gets

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Norman Lamb: “A Queen’s Speech of which Liberal Democrats can be proud”

It is worth spending a moment reflecting on just how remarkable today’s Queen’s Speech is from a Liberal Democrat perspective.

We have become conditioned to believe that the policies we develop will never be implemented. A good intellectual exercise but nothing more. Yet here we have a programme for government of which we can be proud. It contains an extraordinary list of Liberal Democrat commitments on which we fought the general election.

Right from the start the speech grabs attention:

My Government’s legislative programme will be based upon the principles of freedom, fairness and responsibility.

Who would have dreamt of those words introducing the Queen’s speech just a few weeks ago?

Posted in News and Parliament | Also tagged , , , , , , , , and | 36 Comments

Vince: financial markets have nothing to fear from hung parliament

Here’s how the Financial Times reports it:

A hung parliament might frighten the markets, but according to Vince Cable, Liberal Democrat Treasury spokesman, the concerns are “completely and totally irrational”.

The Lib Dems point out that many of the world’s leading economies, including Germany and Italy, hold elections that almost always produce results where the leading party has to do deals with smaller parties. They add that some countries with single party governments, such as Greece, have some of the worst records in dealing with fiscal crises, while multiparty coalitions, such as the one in Sweden in the 1990s, conducted fierce

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David Owen: Lib Dems should “campaign for a role in a government of national unity”

To be a fair, a former Labour minister, ex-SDP leader and Tory voter is probably the natural person to advocate a national unity government – and that’s exactly what David Owen has done today in an article in The Times:

Nick Clegg, the Liberal Democrat leader, and his deputy, Vince Cable, need to position themselves as ready to shoulder the burden of responsibility for hard economic choices, and help to provide, with one of the big parties, the principled, practical government that the country so sorely needs. That means talking to voters about participating in a government of national unity.

The

Posted in News | Also tagged , and | 6 Comments

Fixed-term Parliaments are there to help you, too, Gordon

It’s tricky being Prime Minister, I guess. It certainly seems to be tricky if your name is Gordon Brown. Some 15 months ago – finding himself momentarily up in the polls as the nation breathed a collective sigh of relief that His Manicness, Mr Tony Blair, was no more – he dithered about whether to call an election. The result: he plunged in the polls to the point where it seemed inevitable he would be imminently evicted from Number 10.

One financial tsunami later, and Gordon’s off life-support, and is being allowed to convalesce at Number 10 while the nation …

Posted in Op-eds and Parliament | Also tagged | 2 Comments
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Recent Comments

  • User AvatarJonathan Maltz 15th Nov - 12:48am
    John B: my comment was tongue-in-cheek. All Labour can offer given their well-known intransigence is to guarantee that the Tories will be the largest party...
  • User AvatarDavid Allen 14th Nov - 11:42pm
    Jo Swinson says that the party "must give voters a genuine remain option" in the election. Quite right. The problem is that the party is...
  • User Avatarcrewegwyn 14th Nov - 11:30pm
    Thanks Mark.
  • User AvatarGaryE 14th Nov - 11:04pm
    David makes a valid point for seats with few resources and low membership. If central funds can pay deposits then £500 pays for 15,000 A4...
  • User AvatarDavid Sheppard 14th Nov - 9:20pm
    Thanks Mark for thinking of those not so well packed full of Liberals places like mine. We have had to fund from our own meagre...
  • User AvatarJayne Mansfield 14th Nov - 8:27pm
    @ Mick Taylor, 13th November,7,31pm Whilst pacts are understandable given our FPTP system, maybe I am being obtuse , but don't they also reduce voter...