I have been contacted by constituents asking me if the Prime Minister will call an early general election. The media are obsessed with this but they know that the Prime Minister no longer has the ability to make that decision. It doesn’t stop them endlessly repeating it though, no doubt because they believe it makes a more interesting story than the reality.
It’s not impossible for there to be an early election but unlike the reporting in today’s Sunday Mirror it isn’t in Jeremy Corbyn’s gift to give ultimatums to the PM with the threat of forcing an early election.
This is the reality:
The Fixed Term Parliament Act received Royal Assent on 15 September 2011 and came into force on that day. The Act has a major impact on the timing of parliamentary elections in the UK. It removed the prerogative power of the Queen, on the advice of the Prime Minister, to dissolve Parliament and trigger a general election.
Early elections can be held only:
if a motion for an early general election is agreed either by at least two-thirds of the whole House of Commons or
if a motion of no confidence in the government is passed and no alternative government is confirmed by the Commons within 14 days.
I’m not saying it definitely won’t happen, circumstances could make it the right thing to do, but it isn’t going to happen without a vote in Parliament first.