Depends how you are defining “normal”, Ian. It’s only been that way less than a decade. The fixed term legislation was introduced by the coalition (2010–2015), to ensure a degree of stability and prevent either party bringing it to an early end. For a number of years, through the 1980s and ’90s, although five years was the maximum, four years became the “normal” default.

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Frank is a retired Engineer from England now living in Ireland. He is trying to learn and share the lessons of history.

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