Thursday 27 September 2007
Speculation continues that a snap General Election may be called by the British Prime Minister, Gordon Brown. Unlike the US, General Elections are not on fixed dates. The Queen dissolves Parliament and announces the date when the new Parliament will first meet. The usual practice is that she acts on the advice of her Prime Minister (there has been academic speculation as to whether, in certain circumstances, she can refuse - such as when a defeated PM in a hung parliament asks for an immediate second election before his likely successor is appointed). Dissolution is automatic on the fifth anniversary of the first meeting of a parliament - so Gordon can pick a date between now and mid May 2010.
So will Gordon take advantage of Labour's current lead in the opinion polls (and the troubles the Tories are in)? We'll see. For further coverage see http://politics.guardian.co.uk/labour2007/story/0,,2178308,00.html