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Fixed-term Parliaments Act 2011


40.The Schedule contains amendments of Acts of Parliament. The key amendments are:

  • The Septennial Act 1715 (which sets the current five-year term for a Parliament) is repealed. It will be superseded by the provisions of the Act.

  • The Regency Act 1937 presently provides that Counsellors of State (certain members of the Royal family to whom the Sovereign’s royal functions may be delegated) may not exercise the power to dissolve Parliament otherwise than on the express instructions of the Sovereign. This limitation on Counsellors of State is no longer relevant because the Sovereign will not retain a power to dissolve Parliament and is therefore repealed.

  • There are other consequential changes to the parliamentary elections timetable, to the procedure which applies to that timetable in the event of the demise of the Crown, to the regulated periods for party funding and the spending by people who become candidates at a parliamentary general election. There are also amendments to deal with combination of polls in Northern Ireland where parliamentary general elections and/or other elections take place on the same day as elections to the Northern Ireland Assembly.

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