Petition Have another general election

The government is dysfunctional. Current policies ranging from Universal Credit, NHS social care to Brexit are causing great dismay. This country deserves better. The government refuses to contribute to parliamentary votes, uses filibustering tactics and lacks transparency. This is not democracy.

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Government responded

This response was given on 22 May 2019

General elections are now every 5 years unless an early general election is called under the terms of the Fixed-term Parliaments Act.

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The Fixed-term Parliaments Act 2011 (“the Act”) introduced, for the first time, fixed-term elections to the Westminster Parliament meaning that an election must be held five calendar years on from the polling day for the previous parliamentary general election. The next general election is due to take place on the 5 May 2022.

Prior to the passage of the Act it was a feature of our democracy that it was within the gift of the Prime Minister to call a general election. This drove significant speculation over the date of the next general election. The creation of five year parliamentary terms provides a set period of time for the Government of the day to deliver on the manifesto commitments upon which it was elected.

As a result of the Fixed-term Parliaments Act 2011, the Prime Minister can no longer exercise the traditional prerogative power to dissolve Parliament and unilaterally call an early general election. However, as in 2017, the Prime Minister can seek an early general election by tabling a motion “That there shall be an early parliamentary general election”. The motion must secure a two-thirds majority of all MPs in the House of Commons to have effect.

An early general election can also take place if the House of Commons passes a motion of no confidence which conforms to the wording set out in the Fixed-term Parliaments Act, namely “That this House has no confidence in Her Majesty’s Government” and no subsequent motion of confidence is passed within 14 days. It is convention the Government will give time to debate a motion of no confidence when it is tabled by the Leader of the Official Opposition, as occurred earlier this year when the House of Commons confirmed its confidence in the Government by a clear majority.

Cabinet Office.

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