Borris Johnson has failed to get an early election. However, I’m aware that a vote of no confidence in the government would also lead to a general election if no other party could win a vote (which seems unlikely):

Third image in this BBC News article

Can the government call a vote of confidence which they intend to lose, and then have that election?

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    It did work that way in Germany in 2005. But I am not familiar with the UK system to know if it also applies there.
    – Philipp
    Sep 4, 2019 at 21:50

1 Answer 1


Yes they could.

Whether this is a good idea is debatable, (consider them trying to campaign when they have effectivly said that they have no confidence in themselves) but they could trigger a vote.

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    I’d vaguely guess than not many people would know or care why there was an election - they’d vote along Brexit line again. But a fair point.
    – Tim
    Sep 4, 2019 at 21:55
  • But there is the Brexit Party etc. that would need to be fought off, and internal rivals who could use it down the line.
    – user19831
    Sep 4, 2019 at 21:57
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    As a piece of possible pedantry, it might be worth being clear that this would (probably) have to be a literal vote of no confidence in themselves. The FTPA actually specifies the wording of the necessary motion as "That this House has no confidence in Her Majesty’s Government." legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/2011/14/section/2/enacted
    – origimbo
    Sep 4, 2019 at 22:02
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    My favourite bit is you could in theory have the government voting for the motion and the opposition against, with the government's inability to win a vote gaining them the confidence of the house... :Shrug:
    – user19831
    Sep 4, 2019 at 22:06
  • @Orangesandlemons in a slightly sadistic way, I’m sort of hoping this is what happens. I imagine it would be one of very few, or only, times where a government wins a vote of confidence and didn’t want to.
    – Tim
    Sep 4, 2019 at 23:00

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