Fixed-term parliament

The fixed-term parliaments act 2011 provides for five year fixed term parliaments.

The Fixed-term Parliaments Act 2011 came into force on 15th September 2011. The 2015 general election will be the first to be influenced by this legislation. The Act sets out that the election will be held on the first Thursday of May every five years. The Act means that Prime Ministers will no longer be able to choose when to call an election. Records show that the average life of a Parliament over recent times has been three years and ten months.

The Act has taken the uncertainty out of when an election is likely to be called and should put an end to Bills being pushed through Parliament in what is known as the 'Wash-up' period.

An early general election will only take place 'if a motion for an early general election is agreed either by at least two-thirds of the whole House or without division or, if a motion of no confidence is passed and no alternative government is confirmed by the Commons within 14 days.'

There is a provision that a review of the Act should take place in 2020, this would seem to appease the House of Lords who had wanted a provision to be inserted so that the Act would need to be adopted by each new Parliament.


Snap elections and the Fixed-term Parliaments Act: what happens next? The Guardian

Theresa May calls for UK general election on 8 June | Politics | The Guardian

Fixed-term parliaments are fine – they just need to be shorter

How fixed-term Parliaments have changed politics - BBC

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