"Looking back over all the elections since the Second World War there have actually been very few serious accusations of the incumbent Government abusing the constitutional right of the Prime Minister to seek a dissolution of Parliament before the end of the full term. Some mild, and predictable, partisan noises have been made about advantageous budgets prior to the elections of 1955, 1966, 1970, and 1987 (2 Labour, 2 Conservative). In both 1964 and 1978 it is arguable that the governing party postponed by 6 months from their planned election date in the expectation or hope of better conditions at the latter time (1 Labour, 1 Conservative)
So where then would Gordon Brown’s aborted snap election have sat in the historical sweep? It would have clearly been out of kilter with every other election we have seen since the Second World War.
Did Brown require to get a working majority as Wilson did in 1966 or October 1974? No, Labour has a working majority of 69 seats.
Does Brown face a national crisis such as Ted Heath confronted/created in 1974? Not that we yet know about.
Did he want to call a snap ‘mandate’ election a la Eden in 1955? Well Eden called an election quickly. Brown has been Prime Minister since the summer.
Every previous Prime Minister has had profound respect for the British constitution. All of them have used their power to call an election in order to win – but only because each has believed that their vision would be best for Britain. Not this one."
If most Prime Ministers do not seek to abuse the system, Conor Burns argues that only one has, then there is only a problem if those that abuse the system benefit. If they do then others will have an incentive to emulate their misbehaviour which will mean things get worse and those that have misbehaved will have benefitted from their misdeeds which is morally distasteful. However, the only Prime Minister identified by Conor Burns as abusing the system has gained nothing. In fact, he has taken a massive beating in the media and the polls.
That's the system working! A successful constitution (written or unwritten) is not one that no one can abuse seeking partisan gain. Such a system does not exist. Instead, a successful constitution is one where that partisan gain does not materialise. Gordon Brown's comically unsuccessful attempt to manipulate the electoral calender to his own ends demonstrated the strength of the British system, not its weakness.
Iain Dale further confuses matters by arguing that Fixed Terms are great because they don't need to be fixed. What the point of these unfixed Fixed Terms is supposed to be I'm unsure.
We should all be cautious of constitutional changes that initially seem sensible but address no significant problem. Constitutions are complex creatures and the most successful generally evolve slowly over decades and centuries. There can be major unintended consequences to any changes. Screwing with the British constitution, one of history's most stable and effective, for transient or insubstantial reasons is dangerous.