Restoring confidence: Replacing the Fixed-term Parliaments Act 2011

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This article considers both the Fixed-term Parliaments Act 2011 (FTPA) and the political constitution, to place the former in its political and constitutional context. It begins by setting out the background to the FTPA – which was a part of a Coalition agreement – and considers difficulties with the most commonly-made arguments in favour of fixed-term parliaments. The second part of the article considers the impact and potential practical legal consequences if the FTPA is repealed without any replacement, arguing that it will only be possible to revive the ‘dissolution’ prerogative by express words in a new Act. The final part of the article addresses the question of whether the prerogative should be revived, before arguing both that it should not and that a statutory power to call an election should be conferred on the Prime Minister subject to a vote by simple majority in the House of Commons.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)480-508
Number of pages29
JournalModern Law Review
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 May 2018


  • Fixed-term Parliaments Act
  • Prerogative
  • Statute
  • Abeyance principle
  • Frustration principle
  • Interpretation Act 1978
  • Dissolution of Parliament


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