Parliament and Politics: Key issues for the 2015 Parliament

This section of the Key Issues 2015 publication focuses on the General Election results, constituencies, Members of Parliament and voting expectations. This briefing was prepared by House of Commons Library researchers for Members of the new Parliament in 2015 and includes analysis of a range of subjects.


General Election 2015: results

In a result few had expected, the Conservative Party secured a slim majority in the 2015 General Election. Both Labour and the Conservatives benefited from the collapse in support for the Liberal Democrats

General Election polling: a matter of opinion?

According to the polling industry, the 2015 General Election was supposed to be the closest in years, making a hung parliament a virtual certainty.

Constituency boundaries

Under the law as it still stands, a new review by the Boundary Commissions must be completed by October 2018. It must again divide the UK into 600 constituencies.

The changing relationship between the parties, the public and Parliament

The last Parliament saw what some would characterise as the “rise of the backbencher”, driven in part by reforms that gave them more say over the business of the House of Commons.

Party Funding

The funding of political parties in the UK has been a source of controversy for decades, and during the 2010 Parliament the issue continued to defy resolution.

MPs and second jobs

Following the ‘cash for questions’ scandals during the John Major Government, parliamentary rules were tightened, to ban direct lobbying or advocacy for reward.

Votes at 16

In 2014, 16 and 17-year-olds were able to vote in the Scottish independence referendum. The change to the franchise was only temporary but it re-ignited the debate about lowering the voting age in UK elections.

Current Briefing Papers

The Key Issues articles were published in May 2015. However, the Commons Library produces new briefings as topics evolve.

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Key Issues 2015

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