Theresa May has ruled out the possibility of a general election before 2020 due to the risk of "instability" posed by a snap vote.
Tory politicians and campaigners had called for an early election to avoid a backlash over the Brexit deal that could win votes for Labour.
But Ms May has made her position on the issue clear in an interview with The Sunday Times, reported Sky News.
Hopes had been raised for an early election after it was revealed Ms May could increase her party’s majority by more than four times if an early election were to take place.
Conservative MP Jake Berry told The Telegraph an election next year would give the Prime Minister an easier ride for the five years that follow, allowing her to negotiate leaving the EU without an election looming.
“An election in 2020 would effectively be an election on the Brexit deal, which could potentially open the door to Labour if the public are not happy,” he said.
The most recent polls conducted by YouGov suggest if there was a general election tomorrow, 39 per cent of people would vote for Ms May, compared to 30 per cent for Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn.
But The Telegraph reported the Prime Minister could more than quadruple her majority, from 12 to 62 seats in the House of Commons, according to analysis of polls conducted since she took office.
In June, Ms May ruled out an early general election when she announced her intention to stand as a Tory leadership candidate. She argued at the time that the country is “only one year into” the current parliament.
But some Conservatives thought she should change her mind, with the chairman of the activist group Grassroots Conservatives calling the decision to call an early election a “no brainer”.
An early election is constrained by the 2011 Fixed Term Parliament Act, which has set the date of the next election in 2020.
Before it was passed, the Prime Minister could simply “call an election” – but this power was transferred to the House of Commons under the Act, which was introduced by the 2010 Coalition government.
There are now two ways an election can be called ahead of schedule.
The first is if two thirds of MPs vote to hold an election. This would in practice require both Labour and Conservative support.
Despite the polls, Mr Corbyn is believed to support an early election as it could help restore his authority in a divided Labour Party.
The second is if there is a no confidence vote in the government of the day. After such a vote other parties are given 14 days to form another government. If none can be formed, a new election is held.
On paper, a majority government could, by a simple vote, declare “no confidence” in itself. Since no other party has a majority, after 14 days an election would be set.
But Professor Robert Hazell of University College London’s Constitution Unit told The Independent this “artificial” move could backfire.
“This does have the potential to go embarrassingly wrong. It would only take a handful of Conservative rebels to derail an attempt to call an election,” he said.
The government could also choose repeal or “bypass” the Fixed Term Parliament Act, said Professor Hazell, which might raise “awkward questions” but would be completely within the rules.
Paddy Ashdown, the former Liberal Democrat leader, previously said the only way Mrs May could secure a “soft Brexit” deal that appeased her Eurosceptic backbenchers would be to call an election in May next year.
What experts have said about Brexit
What experts have said about Brexit
1/11 Chancellor of the Exchequer Philip Hammond
The Chancellor claims London can still be a world financial hub despite Brexit “One of Britain’s great strengths is the ability to offer and aggregate all of the services the global financial services industry needs” “This has not changed as a result of the EU referendum and I will do everything I can to ensure the City of London retains its position as the world’s leading international financial centre.”
2/11 Yanis Varoufakis
Greece's former finance minister compared the UK relations with the EU bloc with a well-known song by the Eagles: “You can check out any time you like, as the Hotel California song says, but you can't really leave. The proof is Theresa May has not even dared to trigger Article 50. It's like Harrison Ford going into Indiana Jones' castle and the path behind him fragmenting. You can get in, but getting out is not at all clear”
3/11 Michael O’Leary
Ryanair boss says UK will be ‘screwed’ by EU in Brexit trade deals: “I have no faith in the politicians in London going on about how ‘the world will want to trade with us’. The world will want to screw you – that's what happens in trade talks,” he said. “They have no interest in giving the UK a deal on trade”
4/11 Tim Martin
JD Wetherspoon's chairman has said claims that the UK would see serious economic consequences from a Brexit vote were "lurid" and wrong: “We were told it would be Armageddon from the OECD, from the IMF, David Cameron, the chancellor and President Obama who were predicting locusts in the fields and tidal waves in the North Sea"
5/11 Mark Carney
Governor of Bank of England is 'serene' about Bank of England's Brexit stance: “I am absolutely serene about the … judgments made both by the MPC and the FPC”
6/11 Christine Lagarde
IMF chief urges quick Brexit to reduce economic uncertainty: “We want to see clarity sooner rather than later because we think that a lack of clarity feeds uncertainty, which itself undermines investment appetites and decision making”
7/11 Inga Beale
Lloyd’s chief executive says Brexit is a major issue: "Clearly the UK's referendum on its EU membership is a major issue for us to deal with and we are now focusing our attention on having in place the plans that will ensure Lloyd's continues trading across Europe”
8/11 Colm Kelleher
President of US bank Morgan Stanley says City of London ‘will suffer’ as result of the EU referendum: “I do believe, and I said prior to the referendum, that the City of London will suffer as result of Brexit. The issue is how much”
9/11 Richard Branson
Virgin founder believes we've lost a THIRD of our value because of Brexit and cancelled a deal worth 3,000 jobs: We're not any worse than anybody else, but I suspect we've lost a third of our value which is dreadful for people in the workplace.' He continued: "We were about to do a very big deal, we cancelled that deal, that would have involved 3,000 jobs, and that’s happening all over the country"
10/11 Barack Obama
US President believes Britain was wrong to vote to leave the EU: "It is absolutely true that I believed pre-Brexit vote and continue to believe post-Brexit vote that the world benefited enormously from the United Kingdom's participation in the EU. We are fully supportive of a process that is as little disruptive as possible so that people around the world can continue to benefit from economic growth"
11/11 Kristin Forbes
American economist and an external member of the Monetary Policy Committee of the Bank of England argues that the economy had been “less stormy than many expected” following the shock referendum result: “For now…the economy is experiencing some chop, but no tsunami. The adverse winds could quickly pick up – and merit a stronger policy response. But recently they have shifted to a more favourable direction”
At the Liberal Democrat conference, Mr Ashdown said “the possibility curve rises now quite sharply towards a May election”.
He claimed Mrs May will have to “declare her hand” over what Brexit means for the country, and that she is facing a “revolt” either way.
“There are deeper divisions in the Tory party than we are paying attention to. The only way out of that conundrum is a general election,” he said.Reuse content