Tuesday, 6 April 2010

Election battle begins...

As expected the Prime Minster today asked the Queen to dissolve parliament for a May 6 Election, Parliament will continue as normal today, followed by the “wash up" process which will allow the parties to horse trade on legislation that has made it through one chamber of Parliament and reached second reading in the other. 
Bills that are eligible for “wash up” include:
  • Digital Economy Bill
  • Children, Schools and Families Bill 
  • Bribery Bill
  • Constitutional Reform and Governance Bill
  • Crime and Security Bill
  • Energy Bill
  • Financial Services Bill
  • Finance Bill
  • Flood and Water Management Bill

In what promises to be the most exciting general election for a generation, all three party leaders outlined their campaign platforms amidst this morning's media hysteria. The PM outlined “three big challenges" facing the country - securing the recovery, protecting front-line services whilst halving the deficit, and renewing politics. David Cameron launched his Party’s campaign by saying he is fighting for "the great ignored".  Liberal Democrat Leader Nick Clegg will launch his campaign in the three-way marginal constituency of Watford.
Dates have now been confirmed for Prime Ministerial TV debates - 15th (ITV, Manchester), 22nd (Sky, Bristol) and 29th (BBC, Birmingham) - These could prove to be game changers.
With the election called, 'purdah' has now commenced, meaning that government continues to operate but cannot make any major policy announcements.
It has also been announced Parliament won't return until May 18th after the election, this is slightly longer than usual, a reflection of the real possibility of a hung Parliament. The election of the Speaker will take place first, along with the swearing-in of the members of parliament. The Queen's Speech will take place the following week and it is expected that this will occur on Wednesday May 26.

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