Prof. John Curtice discusses the implications of the Fixed-term Parliaments Act. Is it merely a technical detail of little consequence - or does it represent a quiet constitutional revolution?
The Fixed-term Parliaments Act is one of the very few constitutional changes included in the coalition's Programme for Government that has managed to see the light of day. Yet it is little discussed and its potential effects seemingly inadequately understood. This lecture discusses its apparent effects on UK politics to date and its potential effects in future, focusing in particular on its implications for Prime Ministerial power, government formation, and the parliamentary and devolved electoral cycles. This was the keynote lecture of a one day workshop on “The Fixed-term Parliaments Act”, co-sponsored by the Department of Politics and International Relations and the Constitutional Studies Programme.