Abstract

The Government in the UK rests for its continuation in office on the confidence of the House of Commons. Until 2011, it was a convention of the constitution that a Government defeated on a motion of confidence resigned or requested the dissolution of Parliament. There were different categories of confidence votes. The Fixed-term Parliaments Act 2011 puts on a statutory basis the conditions for a general election following the loss of an explicitly worded motion of no confidence. Although not intended to do so initially, the provisions of the Act limit the options available to the Prime Minister in the event of a vote of no confidence and in so doing removed a significant power to maximise parliamentary strength in key votes.

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