Select Committee on the Constitution
A Question of Confidence? The Fixed-term Parliaments Act 2011

12th Report of Session 2019-21 - published 4 September 2020 - HL Paper 121



Chapter 1: Introduction


Genesis and provisions of the Fixed-term Parliaments Act 2011

Constitution Committee scrutiny of the Fixed-term Parliaments Bill

Review and possible repeal

Chapter 2: Fixing the length of parliaments

Transferring power

Legalities of returning power to the Prime Minister

Effects of fixing the 2010–15 parliament

Parliamentary business

Electoral administration

The civil service

The length of parliaments

Chapter 3: Early general elections

Two-thirds in favour of an early election

Votes of no confidence

The impact of the Act on confidence

Mechanics of a vote of no confidence

The 14 days following a successful vote of no confidence

“Notwithstanding the Fixed-term Parliaments Act”

Chapter 4: The Act and other prime ministerial powers

Setting the date of an early general election

Prerogative power to prorogue Parliament

September 2019 purported prorogation and Supreme Court judgment

Prorogation as a prerogative power

Chapter 5: Future of the Fixed-term Parliaments Act

Impact of the Act on the constitution

Next steps for the Act

Questions to be addressed

Summary of conclusions and recommendations

Appendix 1: List of Members and declarations of interest

Appendix 2: List of witnesses

Appendix 3: Call for evidence

Evidence is published online at and available for inspection at the Parliamentary Archives (020 7219 3074).

Q in footnotes refers to a question in oral evidence.

© Parliamentary copyright 2020