Elsewhere on this site you will find commentators shrugging indifferently at, if not actually cheering on the Tories for their casual subversion of their own fixed-election-dates law. As usual, I find myself in the minority.
As I argue in the column, I think the Governor General would be well within her rights to prefer her First Minister’s initial advice, as duly considered and enacted into law — that Parliament should not be treated as a plaything, that lives or dies at the Prime Minister’s pleasure; that elections should not be rigged to the governing party’s advantage, in timing as in any other respect; that the public should not be deprived of fair and open competition among the various contenders for power — rather than submit to his later fit of expediency. If the law does not constrain her discretion, it plainly does his, which constraint he now pretends she must ignore. To collaborate in this would make nonsense of legislation she herself has signed, and as such would bring the Royal Prerogative into disrepute.
That’s assuming any of this means anything — that this is not just another Tory bluff. Since they are so at pains to convince everyone that they mean it this time, I can only assume that they don’t.