The Fixed-term Parliaments Act 2011 provides for two ways that an early general election can be held before the end of the five-year fixed term:
- A simple majority vote for a motion of no confidence (which triggers a general election unless a new government receives a motion of confidence within 14 days), or
- A two-thirds vote for a motion to hold an early general election
Section 2(7) of the Act says that in these cases, "the polling day for the election is to be the day appointed by Her Majesty by proclamation on the recommendation of the Prime Minister".
This is currently controversial due to speculation on whether Prime Minister Johnson might table a motion in September for an early general election, but then set the election date after the October 31 Brexit deadline.
My question: Is there any restriction on what election date can be chosen? For example, if Parliament votes in September for an early general election, could the government set the election date to be 5 months later in February?