Tag Archives: fixed-term parliaments act

Cameron needs to stop the BS, remember his studies and behave like a statesman/person

It’s ten o’clock and the polls have just closed all over the country. From St Agnes island hall in the south to North Unst Public Hall in the north, the presiding officers have just locked the doors and are preparing the ballot boxes for transportation to the local counting centre. I can now say what I like!

There has been much dangerous talk in the election campaign. David Cameron has implied that a government with the tacit support of Scottish MPs would somehow be illegitimate. He has accused Ed Miliband of preparing a “con trick” to enter Downing Street with the support of the SNP. Even Nick Clegg has joined in by referring to a “coalition of the losers” – being a possible bloc of MPs led by the leader of the second largest party.

All this sort of talk must now stop.

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged , , , and | 2 Comments

Tony Greaves writes…Can’t poll, won’t poll?

I wrote about prospects for a minority government if no party gets an overall majority at the General Election, and some of the things that might need to change at Westminster if it’s to work. Moves away from its majoritarian and adversarial culture to one based much more on negotiation and mediation, compromises and trade-offs, and an acceptance of a more dominant role for Parliament as against the government. But will it last?

Traditionally the Prime Minister asked the Sovereign for a dissolution. In the modern era such requests were always granted. Sometimes the government had lost the confidence of the Commons (1924 and 1979), run out of steam (1951), or politics had been turned upside down and the new arrangements needed popular endorsement (1931).

Posted in Op-eds | 35 Comments

How can a general election happen?

Events such as last week’s European summit still regularly produce a flurry of comment about how Cameron might / should / will / must call an early general election, written as if the rules on calling a general election have not changed.

But they have, for the Fixed-term Parliaments Act of 2011 is now in force and the sorts of calculations that were relevant during previous political excitements are no longer relevant. A Prime Minister can no longer simply call an early general election because they want to.

Instead, there are only two circumstances in which a general election can take place earlier than the scheduled five years after the previous one.

Posted in Election law | 11 Comments
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