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.

Standard Notes

DateDescription
17.02.2015Local government in England: structures
This note contains basic details of the structure of local government (counties, districts and unitary authorities); the electoral system, ward structures, and the franchise; the divisions of functions between local authorities; and the process for changing local government boundaries and structures.
16.02.2015Party Political Broadcasts
This note sets out the current arrangements for party political broadcasts including their allocation, frequency, scheduling, length and content. Details are given of the BBC's final allocation criteria for party election broadcasts (PEBs) in 2015 as well as Ofcom's rules on PEBs for commercial broadcasters.
11.02.2015Prisoners' voting rights
Prisoners serving a custodial sentence do not have the right to vote under UK law. Prisoners on remand are able to vote under the provisions of the Representation of the People Act 2000. This Standard Note provides a narrative of events following the judgment of the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) on 6 October 2005, in the case of Hirst v United Kingdom (No 2).
10.02.2015Compulsory voting
This Note examines the arguments for and against legislation to require voters to cast their votes and whether it is a citizen's duty, as well as a right, to vote.
03.02.2015Election 'purdah' or the pre-election period
The term 'purdah' has come into popular use across central and local government to describe the period of time immediately before elections or referendums when specific restrictions on the activity of civil servants are in place. The term 'pre-election period' is also used. The Government has recently announced that pre-election purdah before the next general election will begin on 30 March 2015, the same day as the dissolution of Parliament.

Research Papers

DateDescription
19.01.2015Nigeria 2015: analysis of election issues and future prospects
This paper looks at the multiple challenges facing Nigeria as it prepares for presidential and legislative elections on 14 February 2015. These elections will take place amidst an atmosphere of even greater crisis and uncertainty than usual. Boko Haram's insurgency in the north of the country continues unabated. There are fears that the country might break up if the election aftermath is poorly handled. However, some observers remain remarkably hopeful about Nigeria's future, predicting that its enormous economic potential is on the verge of being realised at last.
13.10.2014House of Commons sitting of the UK Youth Parliament - November 2014
This special briefing paper has been produced to help Members of Youth Parliament (MYPs) prepare for the House of Commons sitting of the UK Youth Parliament which takes place on 14 November.
30.09.2014Scottish Independence Referendum 2014
In the Scottish Independence Referendum held on the 18th September 2014, the proposition 'Should Scotland be an independent country?' was rejected by a margin of 10.6 percentage points. The turnout at the referendum was 84.6% including rejected papers (84.5% based on valid votes). This is the highest turnout at a nationwide referendum or parliamentary election in Scotland since the franchise was extended to women in 1918.
03.09.2014Social Indicators
This Research Paper summarises a wide range of social statistics. Subjects covered include agriculture, crime, defence, education, elections, environment and energy, health, housing, local government, population and migration, social security and transport.
11.06.2014Local elections 2014
Local and mayoral elections were held in England and Northern Ireland on 22 May 2014. In England, elections were held in all 32 London boroughs, 36 metropolitan boroughs, 19 unitary authorities, and 74 shire districts. Labour had a net gain of four councils, the Conservatives a net loss of 13 and the Liberal Democrats a net loss of two. The first local elections were also held to 11 new councils in Northern Ireland in accordance with timetabled reform to local government administration.

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 ...

POST Papers

DateDescription
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.

Glossary

  • Research Papers (RP) - briefings produced by the House of Commons Library on Bills, topical issues and regular statistics
  • Standard Notes (SN) - shorter, topical briefings from the Commons Library
  • Early Day Motions (EDMs) - formal motions submitted by MPs in the House of Commons
  • POST Notes - short briefing notes produced by the Parliamentary Office of Science and Technology
  • Lords Library Notes (LLN) - papers compiled by the House of Lords Library on Bills and for debates in the Lords
  • Select Committee Reports - papers produced by all select committees of both Houses