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UK election could force fresh poll by 2017

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Subject

Fresh election scenarios.

Significance

Opinion polls suggest that no single party will win an overall majority in the House of Commons on May 7. They also imply that the Scottish National Party (SNP) will do extremely well, substantially increasing its representation from its current six seats to around 25-45 seats. Furthermore, polls also indicate that the third party in terms of current parliamentary representation -- the Liberal Democrats, junior partners in the governing coalition -- may struggle to retain that status and could fall as low as 15-25 seats. If that occurred, the formation of a new coalition arrangement led either by the Conservatives or Labour would be much more complicated than in May 2010, when the election ended without an overall majority. This has led to speculation that another general election could follow relatively swiftly after May -- even within this calendar year.

Impacts

  • The May 2015 election may well not produce a result that can last for a five-year term.
  • The Fixed Term Parliament Act 2011 makes the swift dissolution of parliament for a fresh election more challenging.
  • Still, there is a scenario in which another contest could occur in 2015.
  • However, a fresh election in 2016-17 is more likely than one held a few months later.
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