I have had a good read about the 55% rule before putting pen to paper, or two fingers to keyboard, because I wanted to know what I was talking about before commenting.
There seems to be a lot of confusion surrounding this proposal, some of it genuine, some of it malicious and partisan. Labour ex-ministers have a vested interest in painting the Government's (still feels funny writing that word in relation to us) plans as a stitch up.
We first need to understand that a vote of no confidence in the Prime Minister and the dissolution of parliament are different things. Up until now one always led to another but the game has now changed because of the coalition.
This is the important bit. A vote of no confidence in the PM still only needs 50% +1 vote to be successful, just like before. If that happens the PM has to stand down. If parliament (not the PM or government but parliament as a body) wants to dissolve parliament it needs a 55% agreement, this stops a PM who has say 52% of the MPs whipping a no confidence vote to short-cut the fixed term parliament system, like in Germany.
Losing a no confidence vote will bring down the government but not end the parliament, it will give someone else the opportunity to form a coalition government with a different set of parties. If no-one can form a government the House as a whole will vote to dissolve, go to the country and have an election.
It all makes sense to me, the only point that is unclear is why 55% rather than a 2/3 majority?
The big lesson that I take from this is that the David Cameron is going to have to be clear when explaining what it is he plans to do. The 55% plan makes sense when you look at it but they failure to explain it properly before hand has created an almost instant backlash the could and should have been avoided.
7 minutes ago