Summary of the Fixed-term Parliaments Bill
The Bill fixes the date of the next General Election at 7 May 2015, and provides for five-year fixed terms. It includes provisions to allow the Prime Minister to alter the date by up to two months by Order.
Keep up to date with all the proceedings and documentation on the Fixed-term Parliaments Bill. Also find out how a Bill becomes an Act of Parliament.
Further information about the progress of the Bill in the House of Commons can be found in the Commons news section.
The House of Commons first considered amendments made to the Fixed-term Parliaments Bill on 13 July 2011. The House disagreed to amendments 1, 2 and 9 which relate to a "sunset clause" and would require periodic resolutions of each House of Parliament for the continual operation of the Bill.
The House of Lords on 18 July 2011 insisted that amendments 1, 2 and 9 be inserted into the Bill.
The House of Commons considered amendments 1, 2 and 9 for the second time on 8 September and proposed an amendment in lieu (Amendment (a)). The amendment was agreed on a division (Ayes 253; Noes 190). The amendment in lieu will now be considered by the House of Lords on 14 September 2011.
Watch and read the debate and the views expressed by MPs on Parliament TV and in Commons Hansard.
When a Bill has passed through third reading in both Houses it is returned to the first House (where it started) for the second House's amendments (proposals for change) to be considered.
Both Houses must agree on the exact wording of the Bill. There is no set time period between the third reading of a Bill and consideration of any Commons or Lords amendments.
If the Commons makes amendments to the Bill, the Lords must consider them and either agree or disagree to the amendments or make alternative proposals.
If the Lords disagrees with any Commons amendments, or makes alternative proposals, then the Bill is sent back to the Commons.
A Bill may go back and forth between each House (‘Ping Pong’) until both Houses reach agreement.
What happens after consideration of amendments?
Once the Commons and Lords agree on the final version of the Bill, it can receive Royal Assent and become an Act of Parliament (the proposals of the Bill now become law).