On Breakfast this morning, John Key said that losing a confidence vote “by definition, constitutionally means a snap election”. No. If a government loses the House’s support, then another one can be formed that does have Parliament’s support. Only if that cannot happen is there an election. Key has been PM for 3 years. He should know the basics.
This, from Key’s own department’s website:
If the government loses the support of the House, or if the Prime Minister loses his or her support as the leader of that government, then the ministry or the Prime Minister is likely to change: another party or combination of parties may now have the support of the House, or a new leader may be identified as Prime Minister. Or the Governor-General may face a more difficult situation because the position within the House or the governing party is unclear.
The essential principle in such situations continues to be that the Queen, as a constitutional monarch, or the Governor-General, as her representative, acts in accordance with the advice of the Prime Minister or Ministers who have the necessary support of the House of Representatives. Where that support is unclear, the Governor-General relies on the elected representatives in the House, and especially the party leaders, to clarify whether a party or grouping of parties has the support of the House to govern, or whether fresh elections will be required.
I, for one, welcome 3 more years of Key bumbling, mumbling, and stumbling his way through the most important job in the country.