Lesson #108: Terms of the Members of Parliament

A friend of mine came back to town on Tuesday and so we had a night of catching up tonight that involved a bunch of things, but, as things are wont to do, ended up at the pub to meet up with some of her other friends. The pub we went to had a pub quiz going on and since I was among a contingent of people who aren’t politics students and/or British, the question about a British MP’s length of term was hotly debated*

The answer is five. Ish. Legally, elections must be held no more than five years apart, but because the government can call an election whenever it so chooses, an MP’s term length may be under the five years. For example, the last election was in 2005 and before that, it was in 2001.**

*Of course, some of them did know that a seat in the House of Commons can’t be resigned. One can opt not to seek reelection if one has a paying post under the Crown (or some such terminology), a formality, I’m sure, but one cannot just decide that one no longer wishes to be an MP and just go home and hang out.

**If you can do math, you should have it figured out that there will be an election this year.

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