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
01.02.2016Individual 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.
29.01.2016Local 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.
27.01.2016The EU referendum campaign
This House of Commons Library briefing includes information about the secondary legislation required to start the official campaign period before the EU referendum, including regulations to set the date of the referendum, and the duration and start date of the period during which lead campaign organisations are designated. It also includes information on the rules that apply to campaign activity.
27.01.2016Overseas 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.
26.01.2016Social background of Members of Parliament 1979-2015
Following General Election 2015, 29% of MPs are female, 53% are over 50 years old, 6% are from non-white backgrounds and one-third are from fee-paying schools. The share of manual workers has fallen from 16% in 1979 to 3% in 2015. This note examines the social background of MPs from 1979 to 2015.
12.01.2016Prisoners' voting rights: developments since May 2015
This House of Commons Briefing Paper analyses the debate over the voting rights of prisoners since May 2015, it also includes a concise summary of the main developments before May 2015.
11.01.2016Political party funding: sources and regulations
This Commons Library Briefing paper introduces the main sources of funding for political parties and the rules applying to their use.
11.12.2015European Union Referendum Bill 2015-16: Progress of the Bill
This House of Commons Library paper summarises the progress of the European Union Referendum Bill 2015-16 through Parliament. The Bill received its Second Reading in the House of Commons on 9 June 2015 and progressed through Committee stage on 16 and 18 June 2015. Report stage and Third Reading took place on 7 September 2015. The Bill returned from the House of Lords on 1 December 2015.
09.12.2015Constituency 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.
09.12.2015Parliamentary election petitions
This Briefing Paper provides information about the election petitions in Orkney and Shetland in 2015 and in Oldham East and Saddleworth in 2010. Details of the election petition procedure are also given.

Lords Library Notes

DateDescription
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