Abstract: The Fixed-term Parliaments Act 2011 provides for semi-fi xed term parliaments in the United Kingdom, replacing the previously fl exible terms within a statutory maximum limit. The genesis of the Act was political and the transition from proposal to Act was marked by signifi cant changes. The Act translates, albeit imperfectly, a constitutional convention into legislative form and has signifi cant constitutional consequences. It removes not only the power of the Prime Minister to seek an opportunistic election, but also the power to designate a vote as one of confi dence in the government. Its provisions are not engaged if a government elects to resign without losing an explicitly worded vote of no confi dence.
Keywords: Constitutional conventions; dissolution of Parliament; elections; fi xed-term elections; Fixed-term Parliaments Act 2011; Parliament Act 1911; royal prerogative; UK Parliament; votes of confi dence.
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