End in sight for one of the shortest parliamentary sessions
The shortest parliamentary session in just over 70 years comes to an end on Tuesday, when MPs officially pack up and head off for the General Election campaign.
The House of Commons has met for only 19 days since the State Opening on October 14.
No session has concluded quite so quickly since October 1948, when MPs clocked up 10 days of sittings before proceedings came to an end.
On that occasion, the session was called purely to debate one piece of legislation, amending the Parliament Act, and was not intended to last much beyond a handful of sittings.
A more recent example of a truncated session was in February 1974, when MPs managed 60 days of sittings before proceedings came to an end.
That session was prematurely curtailed by the decision of Edward Heath’s Conservative government to call a snap general election.
The current session is coming to an end for much the same reason.
Parliament will cease to exist shortly after midnight, when dissolution will take place.
From that point until polling day on December 12, there will be vacancies for MPs in all 650 constituencies in the UK.
There have been two other examples from the last 100 years of sessions running for a very short period.
In 1922 a session lasted only 17 days. MPs met for the sole purpose of passing the legislation necessary to approve the establishment of the Irish Free State.
In 1921 there was a session that ran for just four days, purely to approve the Anglo-Irish Treaty.