A No Confidence Motion

9 February 2012

Professor Anne Twomey discusses the legal implications concerning the Federal Opposition's intention to table a no confidence motion against the Gillard Government.

In an interview with The Conversation, Professor Twomey says essentially there are three categories of a no confidence motion.

"You can have an express motion of no confidence that says 'we have no confidence in the government'. That's the clearest and most sensible to do," she asserts.

"You can also have implied motions of no confidence that come through defeating an important bill, defeating the budget or even reducing the budget.

"One government fell when there was a reduction in the budget by one pound, because that was seen to be a symbol of the government losing control over its finances.

"But in this circumstance, where you've got a hung parliament, if a bill was defeated it wouldn't necessarily be regarded as a vote of no confidence in the government unless the government itself had said before the vote, 'this is an issue of confidence - you have to vote for us otherwise the government will fall'.

"Finally, you can have constructive votes of no confidence.

They say, 'We have no confidence in, say, Julia Gillard to run the government, but we have confidence in someone else to do so.'"

View the entire interview - Explainer: motions of no confidence and the constitution - The Conversation

Contact: Greg Sherington

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