More on the Fixed-term Parliaments Act

Philip Norton, a Conservative life peer and a Professor of Government at the University of Hull, provides his synopsis of the Fixed-Term Parliaments Act and why the Prime Minister of the UK no longer “calls” a snap election.

Incidentally, if our Senators were all even half as qualified as Norton, our upper chamber would be in much better shape today.

The Norton View

The Prime Minister has announced she will be asking the House of Commons tomorrow to vote for the motion ‘That there shall be an early parliamentary general election’.  She correctly stated the provisions of the Act.  She is thus ‘calling for’ an election, not ‘calling’ an election.  The decision now rests with the House of Commons.  A two-thirds majority of all MPs is required for the motion to be passed.  That majority is expected to be achieved, given that Jeremy Corbyn has said Labour will vote for it.  Indeed, he made it clear some time ago that he would support an early election, thus doubtless aiding the PM in her consideration of whether to seek an election under section 2(2) of the Act.

The Act has only seven sections and one schedule – it is no more than nine pages, including the contents page – and was enacted in September 2011. …

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About J.W.J. Bowden

My area of academic expertise lies in Canadian political institutions, especially the Crown, political executive, and conventions of Responsible Government; since 2011, I have made a valuable contribution to the scholarship by having been published and cited extensively. I’m also a contributing editor to the Dorchester Review and a member of the editorial board of the Journal of Parliamentary and Political Law.
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1 Response to More on the Fixed-term Parliaments Act

  1. Rand Dyck says:

    Thanks to you, we now understand the British dissolution process! But I think you shouldn’t throw the Senate into this discussion. If you remove all the hacks that Harper appointed and some of the earlier Liberal hacks, you are left with a pretty impressive group. Of course, they are having trouble sorting out their new life!


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