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Fixed Term Parliamtents Act

In Introduction to the Study of the Law of the Constitution, A. V. Dicey states: “The necessity for dissolutions stands in close connection with the existence of Parliamentary sovereignty… Where Parliament is supreme, some further security for such harmony is necessary, and this security is given by the right of dissolution, which enables the Crown or the Ministry to appeal from the legislature to the nation.” Elsewhere, Dicey refers to examples of dissolution in 1784 and 1834 as examples of such a convention and argues this is a democratic necessity in a sovereign parliament, to argue that “the Cabinet, when supported by the Crown, and therefore possessing the power of dissolution, can defy the will of a House of Commons …

Theresa May has this morning announced that she intends to call a general election on June 8 in a bid to increase the size of her parliamentary majority and to reduce the ability of opposition parties to extract concessions from the government during Brexit negotiations. This raises the question of how she plans to achieve the election, given that the Fixed-term Parliaments Act (2011) removed the Prime Minister’s ability to trigger general elections. Under the Act, an early election can only be called under two conditions; (i) if the government is defeated in a vote of no confidence and parliament does not vote to express confidence in a government within two weeks, or (ii) if a two-thirds parliamentary majority endorses …