MPs vote against motion for an early general election

04 September 2019

On Tuesday 3 September, Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced his intention to hold a general election on 15 October 2019. In order for an election to take place at least two-thirds of MPs had to agree to a motion in the House of Commons.

 

The motion was debated on Wednesday 4 September, and the House of Commons rejected the motion, with fewer than two-thirds of MPs supporting the Prime Minister's motion for an early general election.

Early parliamentary election (motion)

MPs had 90 minutes to debate the motion:

      "That there shall be an early parliamentary general election."

In order for an election to take place at least two-thirds of MPs had to agree to a motion in the House of Commons. The debate was followed by a vote, Ayes 298, Noes 56. However the motion was rejected as fewer than two-thirds of MPs (434) voted in favour.

Why do MPs need to vote on whether there will be a general election?

Fixed-term Parliaments Act 2011

Under the Fixed-term Parliaments Act 2011, general elections are scheduled to take place every five years and the next general election is scheduled to take place on 5 May 2022. However, the Fixed-term Parliaments Act allows for an earlier election to take place:

  • if a motion for an early general election is agreed either by at least two-thirds of the whole House or without division;
  • or, if a motion of no confidence is passed and no alternative government is confirmed by the Commons within 14 days.

At least two-thirds of the total number of MPs, 434 MPs, must vote for the motion to trigger an early general election. The motion could be passed without a division if there are no objections in the Chamber.

Related Information

House of Commons Library analysis

The House of Commons Library produces briefing papers to inform MPs and their staff of key issues. The papers contain factual information and a range of opinions on each subject, and aim to be politically impartial.

Follow the @HouseofCommons on Twitter for updates on the UK House of Commons Chamber.

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