What happens if a vote of no confidence is held and is successful? Let’s take a look at the constitution.
Interestingly, a vote of no confidence affects the Premier and not the legislature itself. By my interpretation, it does not automatically mean parliament is dissolved and an election is called.
An option is provided to consult with the Premier and dissolve the legislature if the vote of no confidence is successful.
If parliament is not dissolved, the Governor would determine if a member of the house of assembly commands the confidence of the majority of the members of the house.
If no member is found who commands the confidence of the majority then parliament may be dissolved at the discretion of the Governor.
If the legislature is dissolved, an election shall be held within three months.
1. The vote of no confidence succeeds, the Premier does not request and the governor opts to not dissolve parliament and an new Premier is appointed.
In this case, given the current minority government, the only likely outcome would be for the independents to side with the opposition leader and have him appointed as Premier. The PLP would still be required to hold an election by May of 2018 in this case.
2. The vote of no confidence succeeds, the Premier requests that parliament be dissolved and an election is to be held within 3 months.
If the vote were to take place this week then the election would have to be held by late August.
The ultimate decision whether to dissolve parliament is entirely up to the governor. The Governor “may” dissolve parliament. The Governor may opt to not dissolve parliament if it is not seen in to be in the best interests of Bermuda.
The date of the election in the case where the Premier requested that parliament be dissolved would be set on the advice of the Premier as long as it is within 3 months.