Brace yourselves. According to some great research by David Herdson at Political Betting, Gordon Brown could refrain from holding a general election until 2013. The loopholes by which he could manage it are a bit arcane and convoluted – so I’d suggest you read Herdson’s post in full – but this snippet gives the idea:
“The only statutory requirement to move writs for a general election is under the Meeting of Parliament Act 1694, which allows no less than three years between the dissolution and the writs being issued. In other words, technically, the election doesn’t have to be held until June 2013.”
Sure, it’s highly, highly unlikely that Brown will wait that long to call a general election - just imagine the public uproar if he did.