Elections

This page highlights some of the current parliamentary material available on elections. This includes select committee reports, briefing papers on current legislation and other subjects produced by the parliamentary research services, and the latest Early Day Motions put down by MPs.

Commons Briefing Papers

DateDescription
27.04.2016The EU referendum campaign
This House of Commons Library briefing includes information about the timetable for the EU referendum campaign. It also includes information on the rules that apply to campaign activity.
25.04.2016'Purdah' before elections and referendums
Specific restrictions on the use of public resources are in place during the 'purdah' period before elections and referendums. The Cabinet Office issues guidance for civil servants on their conduct during this period.
14.04.2016UK Election Statistics: 1918-2015
This paper presents an overview of results from UK elections since 1918. It provides summary results for elections from 1918 to 2015, focusing on elections to the House of Commons.
24.03.2016Political party funding: controversies and reform since 1997
This House of Commons Library Briefing Paper gives background to the main controversies around, and attempts to reform, political party funding since 1997.
21.03.2016The Budget and the annual Finance Bill
This note discusses the way that Parliament scrutinises the Government's proposals for taxation, set out in the annual Budget statement. It looks at how this procedure may be affected by the timing of a General Election, and gives some suggestions for further reading.
08.03.2016Overseas voters
British citizens living overseas are entitled to be registered to vote in UK Parliamentary elections for up to 15 years in the constituency they were registered in before leaving the UK. After the general election the Government indicated that it would bring forward a Votes for Life Bill; this Bill has not yet been introduced but the Government indicated that its provisions would end the 15 year rule. This Briefing Paper provides details of the provisions relating to overseas voters in the Representation of the People Act 1985 and of earlier attempts to change the 15 year rule.
07.03.2016All-women shortlists
This note looks at the background to the Sex Discrimination (Election Candidates) Act 2002 which allowed political parties to draw up all-women shortlists of candidates for elections; and its extension. It gives details of Labour candidates selected through all-women shortlists and methods of positive action used by the main political parties to increase the number of women MPs.
26.02.2016Political disengagement in the UK: who is disengaged?
This House of Commons Library Briefing Paper provides information about which groups in the UK are considered to be politically disengaged, and why.
25.02.2016Constituency boundary reviews and the number of MPs
This House of Commons Library briefing explains how Parliamentary constituency boundaries are reviewed. The next review will reduce the size of the House of Commons to 600.
24.02.2016Individual Electoral Registration
This Commons Briefing Paper provides information about the introduction of the new system of electoral registration (IER) in Great Britain and funding both for the transition period and to support a range of initiatives to increase the level of voter registration among under-registered groups, including students. Registration in Northern Ireland has been on an individual basis since 2002.

Lords Library Notes

DateDescription
15.03.2016European Union: Prime Ministers' Speeches and Party Manifestos since 1970
This House of Lords Library briefing outlines some of the key statements on Europe made by Prime Ministers since 1970 and reproduces the manifesto commitments made at general elections by each party over the same period.
18.11.2015Scotland Bill (HL Bill 73 of 2015-16)
This briefing provides information in support of the House of Lords consideration of the Scotland Bill.
13.10.2015Digital Democracy: Political Participation and Citizen Engagement through the Internet
This Library Note provides an overview of developments around citizens' political engagement and participation through the internet. It has been written in light of the 2015 'Open Up' report by the Speaker's Commission on Digital Democracy, which set five key targets for the House of Commons and made a number of recommendations to the administration and MPs in how to meet them. Reference to the report and its recommendations are referred to within.

POSTnotes

DateDescription
12.06.2015Trends in Political Participation
Over the last fifty years in the UK, some aspects of participation in formal politics have decreased, such as political party membership. But new forms of participation, such as online activism, have emerged, which may become increasingly important, especially for younger people. This POSTnote discusses trends in political participation, with a focus on new forms, drivers of these trends and how UK democratic institutions are responding.
05.03.2014Social Media and Big Data
This POSTnote examines the application of 'big data' approaches to social media in three key areas: elections and polling, commercial applications and security. It also covers the regulation of social media data and public concerns around privacy.

Select Committee Reports

DateDescription
11.01.2012Constitution Select Committee (HL) twenty-third report on Voting at the close of poll.
Constitution Select Committee (HL) report [Lords]
22.11.2011Political party finance: ending the big donor culture.
Committee on Standards in Public Life report [Commons]
04.03.2011Parliamentary Voting System and Constituencies Bill.
Government response. Deputy Prime Minister report [Commons]
31.01.2011Work of the Committee in 2010.
Speaker's Committee on the Electoral Commission report [Commons]
11.10.2010Parliamentary Voting System and Constituencies Bill.
Political and Constitutional Reform Select Committee report [Commons]

Early Day Motions

DateDescription
12.07.2011HATIP DICLE AND FELLOW MEMBERS OF PARLIAMENT
That this House notes the success of the 36 independent candidates of the Labour, Democracy and Freedom block supported by the Kurdish population in the Turkish general election on ...
23.03.2011BURMA AND THE EU
That this House notes that despite holding an election in November 2010, Burma has failed to meet the requests of the EU Common Position, last renewed on 26 April 2010, which called ...
01.03.2011IRISH GENERAL ELECTION RESULT
That this House notes the heavy defeat of the governing Fianna Fail party in the Irish General Election; further notes the loss of all the seats in the Dail of its junior partner, the ...
01.02.2011STOKE-ON-TRENT (ELECTORAL CHANGES) ORDER 2011
That this House notes that the Stoke-on-Trent (Electoral Changes) Order 2011 seeks to implement the recommendations of the Electoral Commission's review of electoral arrangements for ...
24.01.2011SOUTH SUDAN REFERENDUM AND PEACE CAMPAIGNING BY EMMANUEL JAL
That this House notes the peaceful South Sudan independence referendum which took place between 9 January and 15 January 2011; welcomes the fact that the referendum's validity threshold ...

Glossary

  • Commons Briefing Papers (CBP) Papers providing in-depth and impartial analysis on every major piece of primary legislation and on other topics of public and parliamentary concern. Regular statistics papers are also published.
  • Early Day Motions (EDMs) - formal motions submitted by MPs in the House of Commons
  • POSTnotes (POST PN) - proactive four-page policy briefings from the Parliamentary Office of Science and Technology based on reviews of the research literature, interviews with stakeholders and peer review, commissioned by the POST Board
  • Lords Library Notes (LLN) - authored publications by the research section of the House of Lords Library that provide analysis of Bills, subjects for debate in the House and other issues of interest to Members.
  • Select Committee Reports - papers produced by all select committees of both Houses