Is a 2014 General Election possible?

Not that there’s a big chance, but as the chartering classes like to chatter, the idea is being muted in tweets and blogs (Benedict Brogan hints at the possibility in his morning briefing).

Although this is supposed to be a fixed parliament Coalition, Professor Patrick Dunleavy at the LSE flagged up a loophole in the act back in February 2012, at which point he predicted a June 2014 election.

Although Dunleavy’s analysis is a bit wonkish in terms of relying on public choice theory to drive his analysis, the key point from the post comes via Mark Pack:

The House of Commons can vote for an early election – but the number of votes ‘for’ must be equal to or greater than two thirds of the number of seats in the House (including vacant seats). That means 217 votes are guaranteed to block an early election. Both Labour and the Tories have more than 217 votes, so an early election under this caveat can only happen if both major parties agree.

There’s going to be a lot of speculation on what the political posturing of the Coalition parties means for the sustainability of the coalition.

But as Dunleavy notes, Budget 2014 will be the give away: if it includes voter friendly measures, then the odds on an early election will have shortened.