What is it that allows the UK prime minsters to resign so often? In the US resignations for the presidency almost never happen, but I hear about it a lot in the UK.


What is it that allows the UK prime minsters to resign so often? In the US resignations for the presidency almost never happen, but I hear about it a lot in the UK.


It’s only happening a lot at the moment because a referendum was held whether to see if the UK wanted to leave Europe, if you look at the results the majority of the UK voted leave and London (obviously where all the main business is) voted to remain.

The PM at the time of the vote was David Cameron, he didn’t like the result so he resigned and Theresa May then his successor. She has then resigned because where the MPs vote on her deal with the EU and because most of the MPs wanted to remain they’ve all said they don’t like her deal with Europe so they can delay the exit and drag their heels.

The term of length is at her majesty’s pleasure but the elected position is usually held for 5 years.

A prime minister style government is different from a presidential style government and it is not just simply a difference in name.

In a presidential style government, you vote for the president ( maybe not not exactly, but close enough) . In the a PM style government you vote for candidates from your constituency to parliment. The majority party in the Parliament, or a majority coalition, choose a prime minister. Although typically, the party leader becomes the Prime Minister and is often the face of party, during elections. Which is why you hear complains in these places that the election is becoming too presidential.

So at any time during the term, the party or coalition may become dissatisfied of the PM, and force him/her to resign, which what happened to May. Or sometimes the PM him/herself might just resigns after he/her royally fucks up, like what happened with Cameron.

In the UK you vote for your local local member of parliament, who deals with the issues local to your constituency, and takes those onwards to the national government when necessary – you only for for your local area, not the country as a whole.

The controlling government is formed of the party who has the most local MPs (or in the case of no party holding a clear majority, a coalition between two or more partys).

The prime minister is chosen by that party as their leader.

In the case that a prime minister steps down, the party chooses their replacement – they have not been previously chosen (such as a deputy taking over, though this may happen), and once a party is in power, the general public have no real choice over who takes control.

In the case of recent UK politics, there has been a fairly quick turnover of prime minister due to the problems caused by Brexit (the motion for the UK to leave the European Union).
David Cameron was PM at the time the Brexit vote was taken, but did not personally believe it was the correct path, so felt it inappropriate for him to take the country through the process of leaving and all the decision making and debate that entails.
Teresa May took over to take the UK through Brexit, however as the original leave/stay vote was incredibly close it has left her trying to organise the deals required to leave the EU without a real majority of support behind her, and ended up with every deal she has proposed getting shot down. This has left the UK in a political stalemate she has been unable to bresk. With such a large job remaining, no clear solution, and dwindling support, she has decided to step down.

The issue isn’t really that there is a problem with UK politics as a whole (though personal opinions may vary there), but that the whole Brexit process has ended up being a giant blunder with no clear route out.
Jump back a few years before Brexit and we had had a chain of Prime Ministers sitting their full terms, and often multiple of them…