Here’s why the prime minister of the UK has the power to call a snap election

theresa mayToby Melville/Reuters

» Top New Products

Omnigeometry Software
cs_image_0

Can  Be  Used  To  Create  Professional  Logos,  Prints,  Tattoo  Designs  And  More.                                                   

$396.00
How To Refinish Wooden Floors
cs_image_1

Make  Your  Own  Stunning  Refinished  Wooden  Floors  That  Your  Friends  Will  Gushing  Over  It                           

$37.00
Balanced Scorecard Toolkit And Trainings
cs_image_2

Get  Ready-To-Use  E-Products  For  Balanced  Scorecard  For  Top  Managers  And  CEOs.                                             

$150.00
Magic Submitter For SEO
cs_image_3

Watch  how  magic  submitter  pushes  you  to  the  top  of  google  sends  you  qualified  traffic.                           

$67.00
Learn how to play Billiards
cs_image_4

Ultimate  8  Ball  and  Billiards  E-Book  With  Tutorial  Videos    and    Free  Bonuses                                               

$37.00
Self Defense Home Study
cs_image_5

Discover  The  Self  Defense  Secret  from  Martial  Arts  Training  Video  Online                                                       

$47.00
Magic Money spells
cs_image_6

Powerful  Money  Magic.  Whatever  You  Need  We  Have  A  Spell  For  You.                                                                       

$15.95
Tools To Increase Your Business Online
cs_image_7

Helps  You    To  Achieve  Your  Business  Goals  Through  Social  Media  Marketing  Tools                                           

$48.00
Take Surveys For Cash
cs_image_8

Sign  up  below  and  start  taking  paid  surveysSome  Affiliates  Are  Earning  $1.60  per  click                           

$39.00
Health PLR Articles
cs_image_9

A  Total  Of  889  Health  Plr  Articles  For  5  Hot  Health  Niche  Market  Categories.                                               

$27.00
Protect Your e-Books and Videos
cs_image_10

Protect  your  digital  contents  with  the  best  protection  software  on  the  market.                                           

$27.00
Learn How To Sing
cs_image_11

Sing  like  a  professional  starting  today                                                                                                                         

$49.95

Theresa May, the prime minister of the United Kingdom, decided on April 18 to dissolve Parliament and hold snap elections on June 8. The motion easily secured the required two-thirds majority in the U.K.‘s House of Commons.

The decision marks a stunning reversal and has surprised many people in her own government and abroad. May had repeatedly denied that she would make such a momentous decision.

In the U.S., we’re accustomed to a fixed electoral calendar. But, the power to dissolve Parliament is present in many political systems, such as in the Republic of Ireland, Canada and Japan.

That power is used frequently in some countries like Italy and rarely in others such as Germany. It can reside in the Parliament itself, or be held by the head of state. And it is a power that can be used liberally, or only in specific circumstances.

In this case, May is betting that this move will result in a larger Conservative majority in Parliament and strengthen her hand for the upcoming Brexit negotiations.

It also means yet another crucial election in Western Europe in 2017, where France and Germany already have elections scheduled.

A great power

The power to dissolve Parliament dates back to the Middle Ages, and is deeply ingrained in U.K. politics. It granted the monarch the ability to dismiss the legislature at any time, limiting lawmakers’ influence. As authority shifted over time from monarchs to Parliament and the prime minister, this power remained.

For centuries, prime ministers had to ask the monarch to dissolve Parliament. In the last century, they used that privilege to shore up their party’s majority in Parliament, or to receive a personal mandate.

On paper, that changed with the Fixed-term Parliaments Act of 2011, which seemed to curtail the power of the prime minister. The act set a clear schedule for elections and removed the ability of the monarch to formally dissolve the Parliament, following the decision taken by the prime minister. But it also included two exceptions. Early elections could be held:

  1. if a motion for an early general election is agreed to either by at least 434 Members of Parliament out of 650, as happened this week;
  2. or, if a motion of no confidence is passed and no alternative government is confirmed by the House of Commons within 14 days.

At the time, Conservative government officials led by Prime Minister David Cameron argued that the Fixed-term Parliaments Act would check the power of the prime minister, and prevent them from triggering elections to seek political gains. May’s successful push for a snap election shows how easily the bill can be circumvented.

It was essentially May, not Parliament, who decided to dissolve the legislature. Thus, the Fixed-term Parliaments Act, as Professor of Comparative Politics Alan Renwick writes, “only changed the choreography, not the underlying pattern of power.”

May is making a calculated gamble. Despite the unpredictability of elections, she likely saw many potential rewards and few risks in an early vote. The main opposition, the Labour Party, is languishing far behind in the polls. May’s Conservative Party has an opportunity to significantly add to its slim majority of 17 votes.

Winning an election would provide May with a direct mandate from the U.K. public, since she was not elected and took over only after Cameron’s resignation last June. It would improve her hand with her EU counterparts but also the hardliners in her own party in the upcoming complicated Brexit talks. And, a larger majority could help stall a second referendum on Scottish independence.

NOW WATCH: Animated map of what Earth would look like if all the ice melted

Feedburner

Post Author: martin

Avatar
Martin is an enthusiastic programmer, a webdeveloper and a young entrepreneur. He is intereted into computers for a long time. In the age of 10 he has programmed his first website and since then he has been working on web technologies until now. He is the Founder and Editor-in-Chief of BriefNews.eu and PCHealthBoost.info Online Magazines. His colleagues appreciate him as a passionate workhorse, a fan of new technologies, an eternal optimist and a dreamer, but especially the soul of the team for whom he can do anything in the world.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.