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A

BILL

TO

Make provision about the dissolution of Parliament and the determination of
polling days for parliamentary general elections; and for connected purposes.

Be it enacted by the Queen’s most Excellent Majesty, by and with the advice and
consent of the Lords Spiritual and Temporal, and Commons, in this present
Parliament assembled, and by the authority of the same, as follows:—

1 Polling days for parliamentary general elections

(1) This section applies for the purposes of the Timetable in rule 1 in Schedule 1 to
the Representation of the People Act 1983 and is subject to section 2.

(2) The polling day for the next parliamentary general election after the passing of
5this Act is to be 7 May 2015.

(3) If, but only if, a resolution to this effect is approved by each House of the
Parliament in question, the polling day for a subsequent parliamentary general
election is to be the first Thursday in May in the fifth calendar year following
that in which the polling day for the previous parliamentary general election
10fell.

(4) But, if the polling day for the previous parliamentary general election—

(a) was appointed under section 2(7), and

(b) in the calendar year in which it fell, fell before the first Thursday in
May,

15subsection (3) has effect as if for “fifth” there were substituted “fourth”.

(5) The Prime Minister may by order made by statutory instrument provide that
the polling day for a parliamentary general election in a specified calendar year
is to be later than the day determined under subsection (2) or (3), but not more
than two months later.

(6) 20A statutory instrument containing an order under subsection (5) may not be
made unless a draft has been laid before and approved by a resolution of each
House of Parliament.

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(7) The draft laid before Parliament must be accompanied by a statement setting
out the Prime Minister’s reasons for proposing the change in the polling day.

2 Early parliamentary general elections

(1) An early parliamentary general election is to take place if—

(a) 5the House of Commons passes a motion in the form set out in
subsection (2), and

(b) if the motion is passed on a division, the number of members who vote
in favour of the motion is a number equal to or greater than two thirds
of the number of seats in the House (including vacant seats).

(2) 10The form of motion for the purposes of subsection (1)(a) is—

That there shall be an early parliamentary general election.

(3) An early parliamentary general election is also to take place if—

(a) the House of Commons passes a motion in the form set out in
subsection (4), and

(b) 15the period of 14 days after the day on which that motion is passed ends
without the House passing a motion in the form set out in subsection
(5).

(4) The form of motion for the purposes of subsection (3)(a) is—

That this House has no confidence in Her Majesty’s Government.

(5) 20The form of motion for the purposes of subsection (3)(b) is—

That this House has confidence in Her Majesty’s Government.

(6) Subsection (7) applies for the purposes of the Timetable in rule 1 in Schedule 1
to the Representation of the People Act 1983.

(7) If a parliamentary general election is to take place as provided for by
25subsection (1) or (3), the polling day for the election is to be the day appointed
by Her Majesty by proclamation on the recommendation of the Prime Minister
(and, accordingly, the appointed day replaces the day which would otherwise
have been the polling day for the next election determined under section 1).

3 Dissolution of Parliament

(1) 30The Parliament then in existence dissolves at the beginning of the 17th working
day before the polling day for the next parliamentary general election as
determined under section 1 or appointed under section 2(7).

(2) Parliament cannot otherwise be dissolved.

(3) Once Parliament dissolves, the Lord Chancellor and, in relation to Northern
35Ireland, the Secretary of State have the authority to have the writs for the
election sealed and issued (see rule 3 in Schedule 1 to the Representation of the
People Act 1983).

(4) Once Parliament dissolves, Her Majesty may issue the proclamation
summoning the new Parliament which may—

(a) 40appoint the day for the first meeting of the new Parliament;

Fixed-term Parliaments BillPage 3

(b) deal with any other matter which was normally dealt with before the
passing of this Act by proclamations summoning new Parliaments
(except a matter dealt with by subsection (1) or (3)).

(5) In this section “working day” means any day other than—

(a) 5a Saturday or Sunday;

(b) a Christmas Eve, Christmas Day or Good Friday;

(c) a day which is a bank holiday under the Banking and Financial
Dealings Act 1971 in any part of the United Kingdom;

(d) a day appointed for public thanksgiving or mourning.

(6) 10But, if—

(a) on a day (“the relevant day”) one or more working days are fixed or
appointed as bank holidays or days for public thanksgiving or
mourning, and

(b) as a result, the day for the dissolution of a Parliament would (apart
15from this subsection) be brought forward from what it was
immediately before the relevant day to a day that is earlier than 30 days
after the relevant day,

the day or days in question are to continue to be treated as working days (even
if the polling day is subsequently changed).

4 20General election for Scottish Parliament not to fall on same date as
parliamentary general election under section 1(2)

(1) This section applies in relation to the ordinary general election for membership
of the Scottish Parliament the poll for which would, apart from this section and
disregarding sections 2(5) and 3(3) of the Scotland Act 1998, be held on 7 May
252015 (that is, the date specified in section 1(2) of this Act).

(2) Section 2(2) of the 1998 Act has effect as if, instead of providing for the poll for
that election to be held on that date, it provided (subject to sections 2(5) and 3(3)
of that Act) for the poll to be held on 5 May 2016 (and section 2(2) has effect in
relation to subsequent ordinary general elections accordingly).

5 30General election for National Assembly for Wales not to fall on same date as
parliamentary general election under section 1(2)

(1) This section applies in relation to the ordinary general election for membership
of the National Assembly for Wales the poll for which would, apart from this
section and disregarding sections 4 and 5(5) of the Government of Wales Act
352006, be held on 7 May 2015 (that is, the date specified in section 1(2) of this
Act).

(2) Section 3(1) of the 2006 Act has effect as if, instead of providing for the poll for
that election to be held on that date, it provided (subject to sections 4 and 5(5)
of that Act) for the poll to be held on 5 May 2016 (and section 3(1) has effect in
40relation to subsequent ordinary general elections accordingly).

6 Supplementary provisions

(1) This Act does not affect Her Majesty’s power to prorogue Parliament.

(2) This Act does not affect the way in which the sealing of a proclamation
summoning a new Parliament may be authorised; and the sealing of a

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proclamation to be issued under section 2(7) may be authorised in the same
way.

(3) The Schedule (which contains consequential amendments etc) has effect.

7 Final provisions

(1) 5This Act may be cited as the Fixed-term Parliaments Act 2011.

(2) This Act comes into force on the day it is passed.

(3) An amendment or repeal made by this Act has the same extent as the
enactment or relevant part of the enactment to which the amendment or repeal
relates.

(4) 10Sections 2, 3 and 6(3) shall have effect only until the first meeting of the new
Parliament after the next parliamentary general election, but that Parliament or
any subsequent Parliament may bring those sections back into force for the
Parliament’s own duration and until the first meeting of the following
Parliament if a resolution to that effect is approved by each House of the
15Parliament in question.

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Section 6

Schedule Consequential amendments etc

Succession to the Crown Act 1707 (c. 41)Succession to the Crown Act 1707 (c. 41)

1 In section 7 of the Succession to the Crown Act 1707 omit “or dissolve”.

5Septennial Act 1715 (c. 38)Septennial Act 1715 (c. 38)

2 The Septennial Act 1715 is repealed.

Representation of the People Act 1867 (c. 102)Representation of the People Act 1867 (c. 102)

3 In section 51 of the Representation of the People Act 1867 omit “or
dissolved” where it occurs second.

10Parliament Act 1911 (c. 13)Parliament Act 1911 (c. 13)

4 In the Parliament Act 1911 omit section 7.

Regency Act 1937 (c. 16)Regency Act 1937 (c. 16)

5 In section 6(1) of the Regency Act 1937 omit the words from “to dissolve
Parliament” to “telegraph), or”.

15Representation of the People Act 1983 (c. 2)Representation of the People Act 1983 (c. 2)

6 The Representation of the People Act 1983 is amended as follows.

7 In section 76ZA(3)(a) after “during” insert “or after”.

8 In section 93(5)(a) omit the words from “or any earlier time” to the end.

9 In section 119(2) after “mourning” insert “(but, in relation to a parliamentary
20general election, excluding any day to which rule 2 of the parliamentary
elections rules does not apply by virtue of rule 2(2A))”.

10 (1) Amend the Timetable in rule 1 in Schedule 1 as follows.

(2) In the entry relating to “Issue of writ”, in column 2, for “issue of the
proclamation summoning the new Parliament” substitute “dissolution of
25Parliament by section 3(1) of the Fixed-term Parliaments Act 2011”.

(3) In the entry relating to “Delivery of nomination papers”, in column 2, for
“proclamation summoning the new Parliament” substitute “dissolution of
Parliament by section 3(1) of the Fixed-term Parliaments Act 2011”.

(4) In the entry relating to “Polling”, in column 2, for “eleventh day after the last
30day for delivery of nomination papers” substitute “day determined under
section 1 of the Fixed-term Parliaments Act 2011 or appointed under section
2(7) of that Act”.

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11 (1) Amend rule 2 in Schedule 1 as follows.

(2) In paragraph (1) omit the words from “, and any such day” to the end.

(3) After paragraph (1) insert—

(1A) In relation to a general election, any day within paragraph (1)(a) to
5(c) shall not be treated as a day for the purpose of any proceedings
in the Timetable before the polling day.

(1B) In relation to a by-election, any day within paragraph (1)(a) to (c)
shall not be treated as a day for the purpose of any proceedings in
the Timetable up to the completion of the poll nor shall the
10returning officer be obliged to proceed with the counting of the
votes on such a day.

(4) Omit paragraph (2)(ii) and the “and” before it.

(5) After paragraph (2) insert—

(2A) In relation to a general election, this rule does not apply to a day
15which is a bank holiday or a day appointed for public
thanksgiving or mourning if—

(a) the day was not fixed or appointed as such before the
dissolution of Parliament by section 3(1) of the Fixed-term
Parliaments Act 2011, or

(b) 20the day is one that is treated as a working day by section
3(6) of that Act.

But, in relation to any proceedings commenced afresh by reason of
a candidate’s death, this paragraph is to be ignored.

12 In rule 6A(4) in Schedule 1 after “rule 2(1)” insert “(subject to rule 2(2A))”.

13 25In the form of writ in the Appendix of Forms at the end of Schedule 1 for the
words from “the advice” to “next” substitute “section 3(1) of the Fixed-term
Parliaments Act 2011 Parliament has dissolved”.

Representation of the People Act 1985 (c. 50)Representation of the People Act 1985 (c. 50)

14 The Representation of the People Act 1985 is amended as follows.

15 (1) 30Amend section 15 as follows.

(2) After subsection (3) insert—

(3A) Where the polls at an election of the Northern Ireland Assembly are
to be taken on the same date as the polls at one or more elections of
the kind mentioned in subsection (1), the Chief Electoral Officer for
35Northern Ireland may direct that the polls at the election of the
Assembly are to be taken together with the polls at the other election
or elections.

(3) After subsection (5A) insert—

(5B) The power under subsection (5) above to make provision in
40connection with the combining of polls under subsection (3A)
includes power to modify—

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(a) Part 2 or 3 of the Schedule to the Elections Act 2001 (in
addition to the power conferred by paragraph 32 of that
Schedule);

(b) any provision made under section 34(4) or 84(1) of the
5Northern Ireland Act 1998 or section 38(1)(a) of the Northern
Ireland Constitution Act 1973 (see section 95(1) of the 1998
Act);

(c) any provision made by or under Northern Ireland legislation
relating to local elections.

16 10For section 20 substitute—

20 Demise of the Crown and parliamentary elections etc

(1) Subject to what follows, the demise of the Crown does not affect any
proclamation summoning a new Parliament issued before the
demise (see section 3(4) of the Fixed-term Parliaments Act 2011) (or
15any other matter relating to a parliamentary election or the
summoning of a new Parliament).

(2) Subsections (3) to (6) apply if the demise occurs—

(a) on the day of the dissolution of a Parliament by section 3(1)
of the 2011 Act, or

(b) 20after that day but before the polling day for the next
parliamentary general election after the dissolution as
determined under section 1 of the 2011 Act or appointed
under section 2(7) of the 2011 Act (“the current election”);

and any relevant writ, notice or other document is to be issued or, if
25already issued, read accordingly.

(3) In relation to the current election, for the purposes of the timetable in
rule 1 in Schedule 1 to the principal Act—

(a) the polling day shall be—

(i) the 14th day after the day which would otherwise
30have been the polling day, or

(ii) if the 14th day is not a working day, the next working
day after the 14th day;

(b) any working day within the period of 13 days beginning with
the day after the demise—

(i) 35shall be disregarded in computing any period of time,
and

(ii) shall not be treated as a day for the purpose of any
proceedings before the polling day.

(4) If the polling day for the current election was appointed under
40section 2(7) of the 2011 Act, the reference to the polling day in section
1(4) of the 2011 Act is to be read, in relation to the current election, as
a reference to the new polling day under subsection (3)(a).

(5) Section 76 of the principal Act shall have effect in relation to any
candidate at the current election as if the maximum amount specified
45in subsection (2)(a) of that section were increased by one half.

(6) If the proclamation summoning the new Parliament after the current
election was issued before the demise, the meeting of the new

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Parliament shall (subject to any prorogation subsequent to the
demise) take place—

(a) on the 14th day after the day appointed in the proclamation
for the meeting, or

(b) 5if the 14th day is not a working day, the next working day
after the 14th day.

(7) If the demise occurs within the period of seven days before the day
of the dissolution of a Parliament by section 3(1) of the 2011 Act,
subsections (2) to (6) have effect as if the demise occurred on that
10day.

(8) In this section “working day” means any day other than one to which
rule 2 in Schedule 1 to the principal Act applies in relation to the
current election (or would have applied had it fallen before the
polling day).

15Parliamentary Constituencies Act 1986 (c. 56)Parliamentary Constituencies Act 1986 (c. 56)

17 In section 4(6) of the Parliamentary Constituencies Act 1986 for the words
from the first “until” to “affect” substitute “or”.

Political Parties, Elections and Referendums Act 2000 (c. 41)Political Parties, Elections and Referendums Act 2000 (c. 41)

18 The Political Parties, Elections and Referendums Act 2000 is amended as
20follows.

19 In section 22(2A) after “1983” insert “(subject to rule 2(2A))”.

20 In section 63(6)(a) for the words from “Her Majesty’s” to “forthcoming”
substitute “Parliament is dissolved by section 3(1) of the Fixed-term
Parliaments Act 2011 for a”.

21 (1) 25Amend Schedule 9 as follows.

(2) In paragraph 1(3)(a) for the words from “Her Majesty’s” to “forthcoming”
substitute “Parliament is dissolved by section 3(1) of the Fixed-term
Parliaments Act 2011 for a”.

(3) In paragraph 9(6)(b) for the words from “Her Majesty’s” to “with” substitute
30“Parliament is dissolved by section 3(1) of the Fixed-term Parliaments Act
2011 for”.

22 (1) Amend Schedule 10 as follows.

(2) In paragraph 1(2)(a) for the words from “Her Majesty’s” to “forthcoming”
substitute “Parliament is dissolved by section 3(1) of the Fixed-term
35Parliaments Act 2011 for a”.

(3) In paragraph 9(6)(b) for the words from “Her Majesty’s” to “with” substitute
“Parliament is dissolved by section 3(1) of the Fixed-term Parliaments Act
2011 for”.

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