The Bill of Rights protected the political class. This included guaranteeing frequent elections.
Despite Britain having an uncodified constitution, which is reliant on a variety of sources, it cannot really be doubted that Statute Law is the dominant source of the UK constitution. This is because it is the source on which constitutional change is primarily bought about. This has been true since the Glorious Revolution of 1688, which cemented the notion of a limited monarchy. Indeed, the Bill of Rights of 1689 recorded in Statute the requirement for parliamentary Freedom of Speech and Frequent Elections.
But what does the term ‘frequent’ elections mean? In the United States, the Constitution clearly outlines that a Presidential Election will take place every four years and Congressional Elections take place every two years. However, in Britain, Parliament could only be dissolved by the monarch (although, this was increasingly on the advice of the Prime Minister). In 1715, Parliament passed the Septennial Act. This said that Parliament would automatically be dissolved if seven years had passed since it was assembled. The Parliament Act of 1911 reduced this period to five years. However, although these pieces of legislation set a maximum amount of time before elections, they did not indicate when the next election would be. This is because Prime Ministers could dissolve Parliament before this point as one of their Royal Prerogative Powers.
America is a firmly entrenched two-party system. Arguably, the closest it has become in the post Civil-War period to becoming a Three-Party system was with the rise of the Populist Party (officially the ‘People’s Party) between 1892 and 1896. The Party had 9 elected Governors, 6 Senators and multiple Congressmen. However, its party was subsumed by the Democrats and their success was short-lived.
However, Third-Party and Independent candidates can still have a major influence in the US political system
So, who are the most significant Third-Party and Independent candidates of the twentieth century?
The money spent on elections in the United States dwarfs that of the UK, even when taking into account the relative size of their populations.
With a parliamentary majority of 1979, Tony Blair was able to push through a radical constitutional reform agenda – which included devolution
Within two years of become Prime Minister in May 1997, Tony Blair had achieved his aims of devolving power across the United Kingdom:
As part of her accession to the European Economic Community (now the European Union) on 1st of January 1973, Britain agreed to accept the supremacy of European Community Law over UK Law. This was later further confirmed by the Factortame Case of 1989.
The Law Lords, then making up the supreme court of the United Kingdom, confirmed the precedence of EU Law over UK Law in the Factortame Case of 1989.