Election date confirmed

Brown to go to Queen on 6 April — BBC. Gordon Brown is set to go to the Queen tomorrow for an election date on 6 May, according to the BBC. This brings to an end the most remarkable sitting of parliament in recent years:

• Tony Blair was elected in 2005. Gordon Brown was never elected, neither by the UK population, nor even by his own party, as no-one stood against him and he won the contest by default when Blair stood down.
• The expenses scandal, though run as a major newspaper publishing venture by the Daily Telegraph, was actually the fruit of years of work by Heather Brooke.
• Michael Martin was the first speaker of the House of Commons to be forced to resign since Sir John Trevor in 1695
• More MPs will stand down at this election than any other since the end of the second world war. 200 are expected to stand down, including John Maples, MP for Stratford-on-Avon, who announced his intention on 10 January.
• Contrary to popular opinion, this is not the longest parliament in recent memory. Five years and one day will have elapsed between this election and the last one. John Major’s term was ended by the election on 1 May 1997, five years and 21 days after he won on 9 April 1992. Margaret Thatcher’s 1987 to 1992 was also longer than this sitting. Prior to that, the longest sitting since the war was 8 October 1959 to 15 October 1964. However, although there can be a gap of more than five years between the elections, the maximum length of a parliament itself is 5 years.

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