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UK Parliament approves General Election on 8th June

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

 

The Fixed-Term Parliament Act 2011 changed the way elections can be called in the UK.

 In the past Prime Minister's could, with the Queen's approval, dissolve Parliament at a time of their choosing. 

Many chose a time when the opposition was flailing, their polling was high or the economy was booming. 

2010 saw a coalition between the Conservative Party and the Liberal Democrats. Having a fixed term for a parliament of five years meant the Conservatives, the largest party, in effect couldn't shaft their junior partners when the polls suited them. 

Some say the reality of having a five year fixed parliament meant towards the end Members of Parliament were twiddling their thumbs and counting down to the General Election. It also, for political hacks and journalists, took some of the drama away.

The Result

Today, the UK Parliament voted by 522 to 13 to agree to Prime Minister Theresa May's request for an early election on 8th June. 

This is way before the scheduled May 2020. 

It was notable however there were over 100 abstentions.

This early election also triggered the decision by amongst others former Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne and former Home secretary Alan Johnson to say they would not be standing in the election. 

Osborne had been under some pressure to quit after taking a job as Editor of the London Evening Standard newspaper. 

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