Elections

All Commons Briefing Papers
263 Documents
DateDescription
07.11.2016UK by-elections more than 3 months after vacancy
This list notes UK by-elections that have taken place more than three months after the vacancy.
01.11.2016UK by-elections since 1945
The number of UK by-elections by session and by Parliament since 1945
25.10.2016Opinion polls (UK): Social Indicators page
Opinion polls: Social Indicators page. A summary of recent opinion polls on voting intention and important issues among voters.
25.10.2016Turnout (UK): Social Indicators page
Turnout: Social Indicators page. Summary information on turnout at elections in the UK.
25.10.2016Local, Scottish Parliament, Welsh Assembly and European Parliament elections: Social Indicators page
Local, Scottish Parliament, Welsh Assembly and European Parliament elections: Social Indicators page. A summary of recent election results.
25.10.2016UK General Election results: Social Indicators page
General Election results: headline data and trends.
19.10.2016Voting age
Under current legislation, a person must be 18 or over to vote. This Note gives details of calls for a change in the law to reduce the voting age to 16.
11.10.2016Overseas voters
British citizens living overseas are currently 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 on 7 October 2016 the Government published a policy statement which set out how the 15 year rule would be removed. 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.
28.09.20162018 Boundary Review: initial proposals for Wales
This Commons Library Briefing Paper examines the initial proposals for new Westminster constituency boundaries in Wales, published as part of the 2018 Review. It looks at how these proposals affect existing constituencies, and the electorate and area of the proposed constituencies.
28.09.2016Georgia 2016
Georgia has signed its Association Agreement with the EU and Georgian leaders have described this as a historic chance to return to Georgia's natural European environment
23.09.20162018 Boundary Review: initial proposals for England
This Commons Library Briefing Paper examines the initial proposals for new constituency boundaries in England. It looks at the extent to which proposed constituencies can be identified with existing seats, and the area and electorates of the proposed seats.
14.09.2016Referendum campaign literature
During the EU referendum campaign there were complaints about the claims put forward in campaign literature and calls for an independent body to oversee the truthfulness of claims made during political campaigns. This Briefing Paper looks at the regulation of campaign literature in the UK and in other countries.
13.09.2016Parliamentary boundary reviews: public consultations
The four boundary commissions in the UK have to allow for various stages of public consultation during their general reviews of Parliamentary constituencies. These are summarised in this paper.
13.09.20162018 Review of Parliamentary constituencies: Wales
The seventh general review of Parliamentary constituencies, the 2018 Review, is currently underway. This paper summarises the proposals for Wales.
12.09.20162018 Review of Parliamentary constituencies: Northern Ireland
The seventh general review of Parliamentary constituencies, the 2018 Review, is currently underway. This paper summarises the proposals and gives some key statistics for Northern Ireland
05.09.2016Electoral fraud since 2010
Sir Eric Pickles, the Government's Anti-Corruption Champion, has carried out a review of electoral fraud and has made fifty recommendations on what could be done to tackle the problem.This Briefing Paper provides information about electoral fraud since 2010 and includes details of the reports published by the Electoral Commission and the Associations of Chief Police Officers on cases of alleged electoral malpractice.
31.08.2016Referendums
This Briefing Paper provides background to the increasing use of referendums worldwide to settle constitutional issues and to the holding of referendums in the UK; a table of all referendums held in the UK to date is provided. The use of thresholds in referendums is discussed and information provided on the administration of referendums and regulation of the referendum campaigns.
22.07.2016Women in Parliament and Government
191 women MPs were elected at the 2015 General Election, 29% of all MPs and a record high. Prior to 1987 women had never been more than 5% of MPs. 452 women have been elected to the Commons since 1918, 5 fewer than the current number of male MPs.
13.07.2016Sources of Statistics: Elections
This introductory guide provides sources of statistics on UK elections.
13.07.2016Sources of Statistics: Constituency Statistics
This introductory guide provides sources of statistics on constituency level statistics.
13.07.2016Sources of Statistics 2016
This briefing paper brings together sources of statistics on subject areas covered by the Economic Policy & Statistics and Social & General Statistics sections of the House of Commons Library. In doing so it draws upon the knowledge of Library specialists, aiming to provide comprehensive topic-by-topic guides for use by anyone interested in the statistical series that underpin the United Kingdom.
05.07.2016UK Election Statistics: 1918-2016
This paper presents an overview of election results since 1918. It provides summary results for all elections from 1918 to 2016, focusing on elections to the House of Commons.
30.06.2016Brexit: what happens next?
Now that the UK has voted to leave the EU, what will happen next? This Commons Library briefing paper looks at the immediate consequences of the vote and some of the longer term implications. This paper considers various questions about UK withdrawal from the EU and what is likely to happen in the coming weeks and months. The issues include the method of leaving the EU, continuing parliamentary scrutiny of EU business and the withdrawal negotiations, and the implications of Brexit for Scotland and Gibraltar.
29.06.2016Analysis of the EU Referendum results 2016
This House of Commons Library Briefing Paper analyses the results of the referendum on EU membership held on 23 June 2016. The highest vote share for Leave (76%) was recorded in Boston (Lincolnshire). The highest vote share for Remain (96%) was recorded in Gibraltar. The dataset accompanying this briefing paper will be published soon.
24.06.2016Fixed-term Parliaments Act 2011
The Fixed-term Parliaments Act 2011 creates a five year period between general elections. Early elections may only be held in specified circumstances.
19.05.2016London Elections 2016
Elections for the London Mayor and London Assembly were held on 5 May 2016. The Labour Party candidate Sadiq Khan was elected as Mayor of London with the highest number and share of first preference votes since mayoral elections began in 2000. Labour won 12 of the 25 seats in the London Assembly, the Conservatives 8, the Green Party and UKIP 2 seats each and the Liberal Democrats one seat. Turnout in the mayoral election was 45.2%.
19.05.2016National Assembly for Wales Elections: 2016
It was the first Assembly election when all three UK-wide parties: Conservative, Labour and Liberal Democrats lost seats. Labour fell short of a majority and won 29 of the 60 seats in the National Assembly. The Conservatives, for the first time, did not increase their seat count loosing 3 seats.
19.05.2016Local Elections 2016
Local elections were held for 2,782 council seats across 124 district, unitary and metropolitan borough councils in England on 5 May 2016. In the elections the Conservatives had a net loss of 38 seats, Labour a net loss of 15 seats and the Liberal Democrats a net gain of 48 seats. Changes in council control across England were minimal.
19.05.2016Northern Ireland Assembly Elections: 2016
Elections to the Northern Ireland Assembly on 5 May 2016 resulted in little change in the party composition. Following the elections the two largest parties in the Assembly remain the DUP (38 MLAs) and Sinn Féin (28 MLAs).
19.05.2016Police and Crime Commissioner Elections: 2016
On Thursday 5 May 2016 the second cycle of elections (2012 being the first) for Police and Crime Commissioners (PCCs) took place in England and Wales (excluding the Metropolitan Police, City of London and Greater Manchester). The 40 police areas each elected one PCC. The supplementary vote system was used for the elections.
19.05.2016Directly-elected mayors
This briefing paper explains the status of directly-elected mayors in English and Welsh local government, and the routes to establishing them, including the use of local referendums. It also includes an up-to-date list of elected mayors and statistics on previous referendums.
17.05.2016A short guide to the EU referendum
This Commons Library guide summarises a selection of our EU referendum related briefings. It describes the referendum process and considers the potential implications of either result following June's vote.
12.05.2016EU referendum: how the result will be declared
This Commons Library briefing paper summarises how the result will be declared following the referendum on the UK's membership of the EU on Thursday 23 June 2016.
04.05.2016Government leaflet on the EU Referendum
The Government has published a leaflet setting out its recommendation ahead of the referendum that the UK should remain a member of the EU; the leaflet will be delivered to every household in the UK. An e-petition critical of the Government's decision to publish the leaflet has received over 200,000 signatures and will be debated by the House of Commons on 9 May 2016.
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.
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.
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 Commons Library Briefing Paper provides information about which groups in the UK are considered to be politically disengaged, and why. This paper will use the term 'political disengagement' to capture certain behaviours and attitudes towards the political system. It uses a range of different sources, which are referenced in the PDF.
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.
15.02.2016Prisoners' 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.
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.
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.
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.
09.12.2015Parliamentary 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.
04.12.2015Postal voting
This House of Commons Library briefing provides information about postal voting. Postal voting is available on demand, but has been associated with the potential for electoral fraud. All-postal voting pilots have shown postal voting can increase turnout. The briefing also includes statistical information, a brief history of postal voting legislation, and information about postal voting at the 2015 General Election.
23.11.2015By-election timetables
This House of Commons Library Briefing Paper gives background to the change in length of the by-election timetable effected by the Electoral Registration and Administration Act 2013. The Parliamentary by-election timetable is now between 21 and 27 working days from the issuing of the writ (it had previously been between 13 and 19 days). The Paper also gives details of the new model timetable.
23.11.2015Electoral arrangements in Wales
This House of Commons Library paper describes the devolution of electoral arrangements to Wales. The draft Wales Bill published on 20 October 2015 is the latest development in this process. The paper looks at developments since 2012 and discusses debates about the number of constituencies in Wales.
18.11.2015Armed Forces Voting
The Armed Forces can register to vote as ordinary electors, as overseas voters, or as service voters. There has been concern about the under-registration of the Armed Forces, especially those serving overseas, and the difficulties they face in participating in the electoral process more generally.The Note also gives a brief history of how the system of voting by members of the Armed Forces has changed, particularly during the periods directly after each World War.
16.11.2015Social Indicators 2015
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.
28.07.2015General Election 2015
This briefing paper analyses the results of the 2015 General Election. It includes the election results by country, region and party, as well as the full result and turnout for every UK constituency. This is the second edition of the briefing paper, which provides additional analysis and statistics. New chapters in this edition cover seats changing hands, the characteristics of voters for each party, the characteristics of candidates and MPs, the electorate and turnout, safe and marginal seats, by-elections during the last Parliament, polling day, and the marginality of constituencies. The full results are available for download in two CSV files. The election results shown in this Briefing Paper were provided by Returning Officers following the 2015 General Election.
19.06.2015Local Elections 2015
This briefing paper analyses and summarises the results of the local and mayoral elections held on 7 May 2015. It provides information on results by council, region and party, as well as the full result for each council that held an election.
03.06.2015European Union Referendum Bill 2015-16
The European Union Referendum Bill 2015-16 requires the holding of a referendum on the UK's EU membership before the end of 2017. This paper provides information about the provisions in the Bill.
19.05.2015Key Issues for the 2015 Parliament
This book examines the key issues facing the House of Commons over the course of the 2015 Parliament - from the public finances to the UK's membership of the EU and from school places for children to climate change.
30.03.2015Televised debates between party leaders
This note sets out the background to the current debate about televised debates between party leaders during a general election campaign. Three debates were held for the first time in the UK during the 2010 general election. The BBC, ITV News, Sky News and Channel 4 have put forward proposals to change the format of the televised leaders' debates to be held before the 2015 general election.
19.03.2015The Parties' housing policy commitments 2015
This note collates public commitments made on housing policy by the Conservatives, Labour, the Liberal Democrats, UKIP and the Green Party ahead of the publication of the parties' 2015 election manifestos.
17.03.2015Party 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.
10.03.2015Sources of Statistics
This briefing paper brings together sources of statistics on 27 subject areas covered by the Economic Policy & Statistics and Social & General Statistics sections of the House of Commons Library. In doing so it draws upon the knowledge of Library specialists, aiming to provide comprehensive topic-by-topic guides for use by anyone interested in the statistical series that underpin the United Kingdom.
04.03.2015Election timetables
This Research Paper sets out the model timetables for Parliamentary general elections and by-elections. The Electoral Registration and Administration Act 2013 made provision for a 25 day timetable for general elections and a timetable of up to 27 days for a by-election. This means that Parliament will be dissolved on 30 March 2015, 25 working days before the general election on 7 May 2015.
11.02.2015Prisoners' voting rights (2005 to May 2015)
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 from the judgment of the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) on 6 October 2005, in the case of Hirst v United Kingdom (No 2), to the May 2015 General Election.
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.
28.01.2015Dissolution of Parliament
Under provisions in the Fixed-term Parliaments Act 2011, Parliament is dissolved automatically 25 working days before a general election. The Act sets the date of the next general election as 7 May 2015, accordingly this Parliament will dissolve on 30 March 2015.
21.01.2015Political crisis in Bangladesh: January 2015 update
The political scene in Bangladesh remains as turbulent as ever. Flawed elections in January 2014 were boycotted by the main opposition parties, leaving the field clear for the ruling Awami League, led by Sheikh Hasina. There has been renewed protest action on the streets to mark the first anniversary of the elections, which has led to increased violence and at least ten deaths. Opposition leader Khaleda Zia was detained in her office for over two weeks by the authorities and faces trial for corruption. This briefing provides an overview of developments in the country since the 2014 elections.
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.
11.12.2014Background to Voting systems in the UK
This Commons Library briefing paper provides brief details of the different voting systems currently used in the United Kingdom. It also notes recent developments relating to voting systems in the UK and provides information about previous government reviews into voting systems. The final section gives details of the voting systems used in selected overseas countries.
13.11.2014Libya: deepening conflict
The Foreign and Commonwealth Office advises against all travel to Libya, as the country splits among warring factions. The country now has two parliaments and its internationally-accepted government is based in a hotel in Tobruk.
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.
10.10.2014By-elections 2010-15
The by-election in Rochester and Strood on 20 November 2014 was the 21st since the 2010 General Election. UKIP took the seat from the Conservatives with a majority of 2,920, pushing the Conservatives into second place.
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.
12.09.2014Recall Elections
Recall is a term used to describe a process whereby the electorate can petition to trigger a vote on the suitability of an existing elected representative to continue in office. There is no recall procedure in the UK. The Government introduced the Recall of MPs Bill 2014-15 in the House of Commons on 11 September 2014. This note explains the process of recall as commonly understood and briefly examines its usage in different countries.
10.09.2014Timetable for the UK Parliamentary General election
The Fixed-term Parliaments Act 2011 fixes the date of the next general election as 7 May 2015, and provides for five year intervals between elections. The Act ends the prerogative power of dissolution. The Electoral Registration and Administration Act 2013 made provision for lengthening the UK Parliamentary election timetable, both for general and by-elections. These provisions have been brought into force and Parliament will have to be dissolved 25 rather than 17 days before the general election on 7 May 2015.
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.
12.08.2014Supply and sale of the electoral register
This note examines the supply and sale of the full and edited versions of the electoral register.
11.08.2014The US mid-term elections: domestic and foreign policy issues
As the US mid-term elections approach, the Democrats and Republicans are tied, approximately, in the opinion polls. This note brings together some polling information and summarises some of the main issues and recent news stories that may affect the result.
30.07.2014Local election petitions
A local election petition has been brought following the elections on 22 May 2014 in Tower Hamlets seeking to have the election of the mayor, Lutfur Rahman, declared void. This note gives details of the different electoral offences and the procedure for bringing a local election petition. It also gives brief details of previous allegations of electoral abuse in Tower Hamlets.
23.07.2014Election addresses
This note looks briefly at the current provisions covering the free postage of election addresses and the decision to make the election addresses of the candidates for the Police and Crime Commissioner elections in 2012 available on a central website instead of mailing them to households. Turnout at the PCC elections averaged 14.7% across all police areas. Following the death of the Police and Crime Commissioner for the West Midlands a by-election is to be held on 21 August 2014. The Government has published a draft Order to allow booklets containing the candidates' election addresses to be delivered to homes in the West Midlands.
16.07.2014Electoral registration: Penalties for providing false information or refusing to provide information
Details about the criminal and civil penalties that can be imposed when a person refuses to supply information to an Electoral Registration Officer, or provides the Officer with false information.
16.06.2014The European Conservatives and Reformists in the European Parliament
In the European Parliament discussions are on-going about the formation of political groups. The European Conservatives and Reformists group, in which UK Conservatives are one of the largest parties, has recently admitted the Alternative fur Deutschland party, and there are fears that this might damage Anglo-German relations.
12.06.2014Election against a background of violence in Syria
A presidential election was held in Syria in June against a background of increasing violence across the region.
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.
11.06.2014European Parliament Elections 2014
Elections to the European Parliament took place in 28 countries of the EU between 22 and 25 May 2014. In the United Kingdom, UKIP won 24 seats, Labour 20, the Conservatives 19, and the Green Party three. The Liberal Democrats won only one seat, down from 11 at the 2009 European election. The BNP lost the two seats they had won for the first time at the previous election.
04.06.2014Wales Bill 2013-14: Progress of the Bill
The Committee Stage of the Wales Bill is summarised in this note.
22.05.2014Pre-election contacts between civil servants and opposition parties
By convention, opposition parties are entitled to enter into confidential discussions with senior civil servants in the run-up to a general election. This note outlines the current arrangements and also provides a brief history of the convention.
21.05.2014European Parliament elections 2014
Voting in the 2014 European Parliament elections takes place across the EU from 22 to 25 May. In the United Kingdom, voting will be on Thursday 22 May 2014.
20.05.2014Egypt: May 2014 update
Egypt goes to the polls on 26 and 27 May to elect a new president amid concerns about repression
19.05.2014A 'democratic asteroid': India's elections
As so often in the past, India's electorate has sprung a surprise. The count on 16 May gave the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and its presidential candidate, 62 year-old Narendra Modi, a convincing victory in the elections to India's lower house, the Lok Sabha. On a 66.38% turnout, the BJP won a majority of the seats - the first party to do so since 1984. Author and academic Sunil Khilnani described the outcome as 'a democratic asteroid.' For the Congress Party, the result is a disaster.
13.05.2014Scottish referendum- the campaign rules
This Note covers the campaign rules which are set out in the Scottish Independence Referendum Act 2013.
14.04.2014European Parliament Elections: Turnout trends, 1979-2009
05.03.2014European Union (Referendum) Bill 2013-14-progress of the bill
This Standard Note sets out progress on the European Union (Referendum) Bill 2013-4 introduced by the Conservative MP James Wharton, who was first in the ballot for Private Members' Bills. Research Paper 13/41 European Union (Referendum) Bill gives full background to the Bill.
21.02.2014Elections and electoral administration: developments since 2010
This paper looks in brief at some of the developments relating to elections and electoral administration in the UK since the general election since 2010. It tracks the commitments in relation to elections contained in the Coalition Government's agreement, The Coalition: Our Programme for Government, published in May 2010. Other key developments relating to elections are outlined, for example the Law Commission's review of electoral law and proposed changes to electoral arrangements for the Northern Ireland Assembly and the National Assembly for Wales
18.02.2014Campaigners and Part 2 of Transparency of Lobbying etc Act 2014
Campaigners and charities were concerned about the new provisions in part 2 of the Transparency of Lobbying Bill during its passage. This Note sets out the main changes which will affect them in the run-up to the general election of May 2015.
29.01.2014Transparency of Lobbying, Non-Party Campaigning and Trade Union Administration Bill: Lords amendments
An update on the amendments to the Bill during its passage through the House of Lords.
06.01.2014Moving the date of local elections in England in 2014
This Note sets out why the date of the 2014 European Parliamentary elections has been changed and gives details of the consultation about moving the date of the local elections in England. It also includes a list of those local authorities which are holding elections in 2014.
16.12.2013Germany's 2013 election: shaping the future?
Where is Germany - the most influential country in Europe - heading, under its new grand coalition government?
15.10.2013Transparency of Lobbying, Non-Party Campaigning and Trade Union Administration Bill: Progress of the Bill
This Note charts the progress of the Transparency of Lobbying, Non-Party Campaigning and Trade Union Administration Bill through Parliament. It complements Research Paper 13/51 prepared for the Commons Second Reading.
11.10.2013Nepal's peace process: towards elections for a new Constituent Assembly
After 18 months of political uncertainty about the prospects for its apparently endless peace process, Nepal is due to hold elections for a new Constituent Assembly on 19 November. The original Constituent Assembly elected under the 2006 Comprehensive Peace Agreement was dissolved in May 2012 having failed to agree a new Constitution. A break-away Maoist faction and a number of ethnically-based parties have pledged to boycott and disrupt the elections; this could bring them into direct confrontation with the army.
27.08.2013Transparency of Lobbying, Non-Party Campaigning and Trade Union Administration Bill
The Transparency of Lobbying, Non-Party Campaigning and Trade Union Administration Bill was introduced to the House of Commons on 17 July 2013. This briefing has been prepared to inform the Second Reading debate on the Bill which is scheduled to take place on 3 September 2013.
25.07.2013The Quebec referendums
This paper gives a brief outline of separatism in Quebec, showing that many of the arguments in Canada are already being echoed in the debate about Scotland's future relationship with the rest of the UK.
10.07.2013Electoral Statistics 2012
This note provides data on electorates of parliamentary constituencies at December 2011. There were 46.3 million people registered to vote in UK parliamentary elections at 1 December 2012, an increase of 247,000 on December 2011.
28.06.2013European Union (Referendum) Bill
This Private Member's Bill was introduced to the Commons on 19 June 2013 and is designed to require the holding of a referendum on the UK's continued membership of the European Union (EU) before the end of 2017. This Paper has been prepared as a guide in advance of the second reading on Friday 5 July.
03.06.2013Obama and Iran's 2013 elections: The role of presidents in the nuclear crisis
Iran's presidential election, due on 14 june, is unlikely to change Iranian policy over nuclear enrichment.
15.05.2013Election Timetables
This Research Paper sets out the model timetables for Parliamentary general elections and by-elections.
05.03.2013Independence and Constitutional Referendums Around the World
This note looks at independence referendums around the world and referendums on other constitutional arrangements short of full independence in the 20th and 21st centuries.
01.03.2013The History of the Parliamentary Franchise
This paper gives a history of the Parliamentary franchise and shows the incremental stages which led to universal suffrage across the UK by drawing on several of the recognised sources which have dealt with the subject and by referring to the key legislation.
08.02.2013Marginal seats
This note lists UK Parliament seats by marginality using results for the 2010 General Election. The results are taken from the Research Paper (RP10/36) General Election 2010
04.02.2013Constituency boundaries: the Sixth General Review in Scotland
This Note gives details of the 2013 review in Scotland, its progress and the consultation process. It should be read in conjunction with Library Standard Note 6098, Initial proposals for new constituency boundaries: Scotland which looks at the extent to which the proposed constituencies can be identified with existing seats and which existing constituencies will be most affected by the proposals.
04.02.2013Constituency boundaries: the Sixth General Review in Wales
This Note gives details of the 2013 review in Wales, its progress and the consultation process. It should be read in conjunction with Library Standard Note 6095, Initial proposals for new constituency boundaries: Wales which looks at the extent to which the proposed constituencies can be identified with existing seats and which existing constituencies will be most affected by the proposals.
04.02.2013Constituency boundaries: the Sixth General Review in Northern Ireland
This Note gives details of the 2013 review in Northern Ireland, its progress and the consultation process. It should be read in conjunction with Library Standard Note 6070, Initial proposals for new constituency boundaries: Northern Ireland which looks at the extent to which the proposed constituencies can be identified with existing seats and which existing constituencies would be most affected by the proposals.
04.02.2013Constituency boundaries: the Sixth General Review in England
This Note gives details of the 2013 review in England, its progress and the consultation process. It should be read in conjunction with Library Standard Note, Initial proposals for new constituency boundaries: England (SN 6068) which looks at the extent to which the proposed constituencies can be identified with existing seats and which existing constituencies will be most affected by the proposals.
01.02.2013The Sixth General Review of constituency boundaries: public consultations
This note has now been archived and is no longer being updated. It summarises the new statutory public consultation process that the Boundary Commissions in each part of the UK must use as part of the Sixth General Review of UK Parliamentary constituencies.
01.02.2013Southeast Asia: an update
The political and economic profile of Southeast Asia as a region continues to rise. The UK is scaling up its engagement with the region. This briefing provides country snapshots of the main events in six of the countries in the region since the start of 2012 and also looks at significant developments over the past year or so in the UK's relations with the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and its member states.
31.01.2013Electoral Registration and Administration Bill 2012-13: progress of the Bill
The Electoral Registration and Administration Bill 2012-13 was introduced on 10 May 2012. The Bill makes provision for a legislative framework for the introduction of a new system of individual electoral registration (IER) under which electors will be registered individually instead of by household. This Note summarises the progress of the Bill. It supplements Research Paper 12/26 which was produced for the Bill's second reading in the House of Commons on 23 May 2012.
29.01.2013Regulation of Referendums
This Note sets out the mechanics for holding referendums. It summarises the applicable provisions of the Political Parties, Elections and Referendums Act 2000 (PPERA) which regulate publicity and campaigning.
14.12.2012Kenya since the 2007/08 crisis
This note reviews major political developments since the 2007/08 crisis, whose legacies Kenya is still struggling to overcome. Elections are scheduled for March 2013 but two of the candidates seeking high office - Uhuru Kenyatta and William Ruto - are due to stand trial at the International Criminal Court in the following month. Meanwhile, Kenyan troops have now been in southern Somalia for over a year and helped re-take the strategic port of Kismayo in September 2012. But there remains uncertainty about Kenya's objectives in Somalia.
10.12.2012Individual electoral registration in Northern Ireland
A report by the Electoral Commission on continuous electoral registration in Northern Ireland, published in November 2012, found that there had been 'a significant and worrying decline in both the accuracy and completeness of Northern Ireland's electoral register' since 2008. The Note looks at the introduction of individual electoral registration in Northern Ireland and the abolition of the annual canvass.
06.12.2012Pakistan in 2013
2013 will be another important year for Pakistan. Federal and provincial elections will be held during the first half of the year. If, as seems increasingly likely, the Pakistan People's Party-led Government sees out its full term in office and hands over to a civilian successor, it will be the first time in Pakistan's history that this has happened. But the political and economic situation remains highly volatile and unpredictable.
03.12.2012Local Elections 2013
Local elections take place on 2 May 2013 in 27 county councils and 8 unitary authorities in England and one council in Wales.
03.12.2012Electoral swing
Electoral swing is a way of comparing the performance of parties at elections. This note shows how to calculate swing using examples from the 2010 General Election and gives detail of general election swings since 1950 and record by-election swings.
29.11.2012Police and Crime Commissioner Elections, 2012
On Thursday 15 November 2012 the first ever elections for Police and Crime Commissioners (PCCs) took place in England and Wales, outside of London. The Police Reform and Social Responsibility Act 2011 replaced police authorities with directly elected PCCs. The 41 police areas each elected one PCC. The supplementary vote system was used for the elections. This Research Paper analyses the results
16.11.2012US Elections 2012
Statistical summary of the 2012 US Presidential election, including detailed results of Presidential, Senate and Hosue of Representatives elections
13.11.2012Referendums on the European Union
This Note charts the referendums on EU matters held in candidate and Member States since 1972, with brief details on turnout and results.
22.10.2012Revised proposals for new constituency boundaries
The number of parliamentary constituencies in the UK will fall from 650 to 600 as part of the current boundary review. Revised proposals for new constituencies were published by the Boundary Commission for Scotland on 13 September 2012 and by the Boundary Commissions for England and Northern Ireland on 16 October 2012. This note looks at how the revised proposals differ from the initial proposals published last year and the extent to which proposed constituencies can be identified with existing seats.
24.09.2012Zimbabwe: recent political developments
This note surveys developments since the beginning of 2011, during which time implementation of the 2008 Global Political Agreement has remained painfully limited. Halting progress is being made towards agreement on a new Constitution, but there remains a real possibility that President Robert Mugabe and his ruling ZANU-PF might abandon the negotiations and opt for early elections under the old Constitution, which greatly favours them. Elections are due by June 2013. Zimbabwe's political prospects remain highly uncertain.
07.08.2012UK Election Statistics: 1918-2012
This paper presents an overview of results from UK elections since 1918, including elections to the House of Commons, the European Parliament, devolved bodies and local government.
23.05.2012Egypt's presidential election 2012
Egyptians vote on 23 and 24 May to elect a new president. If no candidate wins 50%, a second round will be held on 16 and 17 June. There are signs, however, of a looming crisis over the division of power and the role of the military.
22.05.2012London elections 2012
Elections for the Mayor of London and London Assembly were held on 3 May 2012. The Conservative candidate Boris Johnson was re-elected as Mayor, winning 44% of first preference votes. Labour won 12 of the 25 London Assembly seats to become the largest party in the Assembly.
21.05.2012Local elections 2012
Local elections took place in 181 local authorities on 3 May 2012. Almost 4,900 council seats were up for election in 128 local authorities in England, 32 unitary authorities in Scotland and 21 unitary authorities in Wales.
17.05.2012Electoral Registration and Administration Bill
This research paper has been written to inform Members in preparation for the second reading of the Electoral Registration and Administration Bill 2012-13
08.05.2012Disclosure of tax returns for public officials and holders of public office
During the campaign for the London mayor in 2012, the two main candidates, Boris Johnson and Ken Livingstone, agreed to release details of their tax returns. The Prime Minister and the Chancellor of the Exchequer have also suggested that the policy could be extended more widely. This Note looks at the arguments for and against so far, and looks at selected international comparisons.
01.05.2012Madagascar's political crisis
The continuing political crisis in Madagascar began when Andre Rajoelina successfully ousted the incumbent President, Marc Ravalomana, in March 2009 and installed himself instead, albeit formally as a transitional leader pending elections. The international community considers Rajoelina illegitimate. Regional mediation efforts to return Madagascar to 'constitutional rule' led to a peace deal in September 2011, but implementation remains fraught and the danger reamains that the process could collapse.
22.03.2012Polling stations and hours of polling
Lengthy queues at a number of polling stations at the close of poll at the general election on 6 May 2010 meant that a number of voters were unable to cast their votes. This Note gives details of the legislative provisions and the Electoral Commission's guidance relating to polling hours, polling stations and the responsibilities of (Acting) Returning Officers. Standard Note as at 21 March 2012.
14.03.2012Postal voting and electoral fraud 2001-09
This note gives a brief history of postal voting and sets out the main electoral offences. It covers the period 2001-09; for information about electoral fraud since 2010 see Standard Note 6255, Electoral fraud since 2010.
29.02.2012Recess Elections Act 1975
The Note explains the provisions of the Recess Elections Act 1975 which allows a writ for a by-election to be moved during a prorogation of Parliament or adjournment of the House.
15.02.2012Electoral Administration: draft legislation relating to electoral timetables, polling place reviews and the use of emblems on ballot papers
On 13 July 2011 the Government published draft legislation on three electoral administration provisions for pre-legislative scrutiny. Further draft electoral administration proposals were published on 14 September 2011. The draft legislation forms part of a larger package of measures including draft legislation on individual electoral registration (IER). The Political and Constitutional Reform Committee examined the Government's proposals for individual electoral registration and the other electoral administration provisions at the same time and published its report on 4 November 2011. The Government published its response to the PCR Committee's report on 9 February 2012.
03.02.2012Sources of statistics: opinion polls
This note is intended as a guide to key sources for opinion poll statistics. It represents a self-help guide, providing a starting point for those interested in obtaining statistics for themselves.
02.02.2012Palestinian elections?
A date of 4 May has been agreed for Palestinian legislative and presidential elections. Observers are unsure whether they will in fact take place on that date, as much depends on the fraught reconciliation negotiations between Hamas and Fatah.
30.01.2012In brief: Pakistan's multiple crises
This note briefly surveys the current crisis in civil-military relations in Pakistan, which is symbolised by the 'memogate' scandal. With the Supreme Court also hearing a charge of contempt of court against Prime Minister Gilani, the government's position looks precarious. While a military coup is possible, early elections are more likely.
25.01.2012Local Elections in 2012
This note sets out where elections will take place across the UK in 2012.
23.01.2012Initial proposals for new constituency boundaries: Wales
The number of parliamentary constituencies in Wales will fall from 40 to 30 as part of the current boundary review. Provisional proposals for the new seats were published by the Boundary Commission for Wales on 11 January 2012. This note looks at the extent to which proposed constituencies can be identified with existing seats and which existing constituencies would be most affected by the proposals. The proposals for Wales are also compared with the initial proposals from the Boundary Commissions for England, Northern Ireland and Scotland, published in September and October 2011.
09.01.2012Speaker's Conference on Parliamentary representation
This standard note provides a summary of the main recommendations of the Speaker's Conference on Parliamentary representation which published its final report in January 2010.
03.01.2012Russian revolt?
The election for the Russian State Duma (lower house of parliament) saw a dramatic slump in the legitimacy of Vladimir Putin's regime. The Kremlin was widely perceived to have falsified the results but still lost many seats. This note looks at the difficulties faced by the Russian elite and some possible consequences for relations with western neighbours.
23.11.2011Morocco and the 2011 election
Morocco holds an important parliamentary election on 25 November. Under constitutional reforms proposed by the King, Muhammad IV, parliament will gain significant new powers.
27.10.2011Initial proposals for new constituency boundaries: Scotland
The number of parliamentary constituencies in Scotland will fall from 59 to 52 as part of the current boundary review. Initial proposals for the new seats were published by the Boundary Commission for Scotland on 13 October 2011. This note looks at the extent to which proposed constituencies can be identified with existing seats and which existing constituencies will be most affected by the proposals.
26.10.2011Social Indicators
A compendium of the latest social statistics. This edition includes articles: The August 2011 riots: a statistical summary, and Initial proposals for new constituency boundaries.
26.10.2011Initial proposals for new constituency boundaries: Social Indicators article
An overview of the proposed changes to constituency boundaries.
07.10.2011In brief: elections in the Democratic Republic of Congo
This note reviews the prospects for the presidential and parliamentary elections which are due to be held in the Democratic Republic of Congo on 25 November 2011
29.09.2011Initial proposals for new constituency boundaries: Northern Ireland
The number of parliamentary constituencies in Northern Ireland will fall from 18 to 16 as part of the current boundary review. Provisional proposals for 16 new seats were published by the Boundary Commission for Northern Ireland on 13 September 2011. This note looks at the extent to which proposed constituencies can be identified with existing seats and which existing constituencies would be most affected by the proposals.
16.09.2011Initial proposals for new constituency boundaries: England
The Boundary Commission for England published its initial proposals for 502 new English constituencies on 13 September 2011. This note examines how the initial proposals would change the existing map of constituencies. It looks at the extent to which proposed constituencies can be identified with existing seats, including which seats remain unchanged, and which existing constituencies would be most affected by the proposals.
20.07.2011Fixed Term Parliament Bill - Lords stages
This standard note summarises the Lords stages of the Fixed-term Parliaments Bill
12.07.2011AV and electoral reform
The Coalition Programme of May 2010 included a commitment to introduce a Referendum Bill on electoral reform. The Parliamentary Voting System and Constituencies Bill was introduced on 22 July 2010 and made provision for the introduction of the Alternative Vote system for the House of Commons if there is a positive result in the referendum to be held on 5 May 2011. The Bill received Royal Assent on 16 February 2011. This note provides a summary of the main provisions of the Act; full details on the introduction of the Bill are given in Library Research Paper 10/55.
05.07.2011The European Union Bill 2010-11: Lords Committee and Report Stages
This Note looks at Lords amendments to the European Union Bill 2010-11 covering Committee and Report stages, and Third Reading.
30.06.2011Thresholds in Referendums
Referendums have become an established mechanism for validating constitutional initiatives in the UK. The possibility of using an appropriate minimum turnout, or a special majority to ensure that the outcome of such a poll is seen as legitimate is sometimes raised. This note looks at the debate in the UK so far and briefly looks at the use of referendum thresholds in states outside the UK.
01.06.2011In brief: Burma's 'discipline-flourishing democracy'
This note reviews developments in Burma since the November 2010 elections.
24.05.2011Scottish Parliament Elections: 2011
The SNP gained an overall majority in the Scottish Parliament in the elections on 5 May 2011. The paper provides data on voting trends and electoral turnout for constituencies, electoral regions, and for Scotland as a whole.
24.05.2011Local Elections: 2011
19.05.2011Northern Ireland Assembly Elections: 2011
Elections on 5 May 2011 resulted in little change in the overall party composition of the Northern Ireland Assembly. Gains and losses by individual parties involved just one or two seats. 108 Assembly Members were elected by Single Transferrable Vote, 6 Members for each of 18 constituencies. Following the 2011 elections the two largest parties in the Assembly are the DUP (38 MLAs) and Sinn Féin (29 MLAs).
19.05.2011National Assembly for Wales Elections: 2011
This Research Paper provides summary and detailed results of the fourth elections to the National Assembly for Wales, which took place on 5 May 2011.
19.05.2011Alternative Vote Referendum 2011
67.9% of voters opposed changing the electoral system to the Alternative Vote, in a UK wide referendum on 5 May 2011. Turnout was 42.0%. This Research Paper presents information on votes cast in each region and referendum counting area.
07.03.2011Referendum in Wales
On 3 March 2011 a referendum was held in Wales to decide whether the National Assembly for Wales should gain the power to legislate on a wider range of matters in one go. This was in contrast to the previous situation, in which it had to gain approval from the UK Parliament each time it wanted to expand the range of matters. This note gives an account of the referendum campaign and vote, and the implications of this in constitutional terms
21.02.2011The Parliamentary Voting system and Constituencies Bill: summary of amendments
15.02.2011Parliamentary Voting System and Constituencies Bill: Lords stages
This Note summarises the Lords stages of the Parliamentary Voting System and Constituencies Bill 2010-11. It supplements Research Paper 10/55 which was produced for the Bill's second reading in the House of Commons and Research Paper 10/72 which summarises all the Commons stages of the Bill.
02.02.2011General Election 2010
No single party won an overall majority at the 2010 General Election, for the first time in the UK since February 1974. The Conservatives won the most seats, 306, a net change of 96 compared with notional 2005 general election results. Labour were down by 90 seats, leaving them with 258, while the Liberal Democrat total of 57 was five fewer than 2005. General Election 2010 provides detailed analysis of the results of the 2010 General Election. The data for votes cast and electorates agree with the official results published by the Electoral Commission. This Research Paper replaces the analysis published on 8 July 2010 which used provisional data.
20.01.2011Fixed-term Parliaments Bill: Commons Stages [Bill No 64 of 2010-11]
This Research Paper summarises all the Commons stages of the Fixed-term Parliaments Bill. It complements Research Paper 10/54 which was prepared for the Commons Second Reading. No major amendments were made to the Bill during its Committee stage and no amendments were made during Report.
18.01.2011The parliamentary election in Iraq, March 2010
The parliamentary election scheduled for 7 March 2010 is an important milestone in the development of the country's political system. This note looks at the controversies attending the run-up to the election, the provisional results and manoeuvring to form a governing majority.
20.12.2010Fixed-term Parliaments Bill 2010-11: Commons stages
The Fixed-term Parliaments Bill [Bill No 64 of 2010-11] was introduced to the House of Commons on 22 July 2010 and had its Second Reading on 13 September 2010. This Note details the progress of the Bill, including developments between First and Second Reading and the Second Reading debate itself.
11.11.2010Parliamentary Voting System and Constituencies Bill 2010-11: Commons Stages
This Paper summarises all Commons stages of the Parliamentary Voting System and Constituencies Bill 2010-11. It supplements Research Paper 10/55 which was produced for the Bill's Second Reading and replaces Standard Note 5697 'Parliamentary Voting System and Constituencies Bill: Progress of the Bill'. No major changes were made during the passage of the Bill in the Commons, but the text of the referendum question was altered and legislative provision was made for the combination of polls on 5 May 2011.
28.10.2010In Brief: Election in Jordan 2010
The forthcoming election in Jordan will not have a big impact on the country's political scene. Political parties are weak and the monarchy retains most of the power in the country.
15.10.2010Social Indicators
This Research Paper summarises a wide range of social statistics. Subjects covered include crime and justice, defence, education, elections, health and population. This edition includes an article in advance of UN World Statistics Day (20.10.2010) on statistical literacy. It also includes articles entitled 'Electoral registration' and 'Public opinion of the police', and a topical subject page: 'How fair is Britain?'
01.09.2010The Parliamentary Voting System and Constituencies Bill [Bill 63 of 2010-11]
This Paper has been prepared for the Second Reading debate in the House of Commons. The Bill seeks to enable the next general election to be fought under the Alternative Vote system, provided this change is endorsed in a referendum on 5 May 2011 and boundary changes have been made to reduce the size of the House of Commons to 600. New rules for the redistribution of seats are designed to give primacy to numerical equality in constituencies and regular redistributions would take place every five years.
26.08.2010Fixed-term Parliaments Bill [Bill 64 of 2010-11]
The Fixed-term Parliaments Bill was introduced to the House of Commons on 22 July 2010. The proposals are part of the Coalition Agreement between the Conservative and Liberal Democrat parties, agreed after the May 2010 General Election. The Bill fixes the date of the next General Election at 7 May 2015, and provides five year fixed-terms. There are provisions to allow the Prime Minister to alter the date by Order by up to two months. There are also two ways in which an election could be triggered before the five year term: if a motion of no confidence is passed and no alternative government is found within 14 days; or a motion for an early General Election is agreed either by at least two-thirds of the House or without division.
13.08.2010Local elections 2011
Elections are due on Thursday 5 May 2011 in 279 English local authorities. Elections will also be held on the same day to the Scottish Parliament, National Assembly for Wales and Northern Ireland Assembly. Scottish Council elections due in 2011 have been deferred until 2012 (and next in 2017 before returning to a 4-year cycle). In Northern Ireland, elections to the existing 26 local councils are also due to be held on 5 May 2011
10.08.2010Australian election 2010
A general election has been called for 21 August 2010. This note gives background, and looks at the fall of Kevin Rudd and the campaign.
28.07.2010Parliamentary constituency boundaries: the Fifth Periodical Review
This note gives details of the fifth periodical review of Parliamentary constituencies.
28.07.2010Reducing the size of the House of Commons
The Parliamentary Voting System and Constituencies Bill was introduced on 22 July 2010 and introduces new Rules for Redistribution which make provision for the number of constituencies to be reduced to 600. This note looks briefly at the current Rules for Redistribution and at recent calls for the Rules to be changed; details of the length of time it has taken to carry out periodical reviews of Parliamentary constituencies are also given. A summary of the Bill's main provisions is also included.
28.07.2010The Rules for the Redistribution of Seats- history and reform
The Parliamentary Voting System and Constituencies Bill 2010-11 will introduce new Rules for the Redistribution of Seats. This Note sets out how the current Rules for the Redistributions of Seats in the Commons have evolved from the Speaker's Conference in 1944 and should be read in conjunction with Standard Note 5570 Reducing the size of the House of Commons.
28.07.2010Redistributing parliamentary boundaries: some international comparisons
This note describes how constituency boundaries are redrawn in a number of other countries: Canada, Australia, the USA and France. Much of the material in the note is taken from a key text on the subject, Redistributing in comparative perspective edited by Lisa Handley and Bernard Grofman.
15.07.2010PIL: The Number of Seats in the House of Commons since 1707
22.06.2010Local elections 2010
This paper summarises the results of the local and mayoral elections held on 6 May 2010. Elections were held in all 32 London boroughs, 36 metropolitan boroughs, 20 unitary authorities, and 76 shire districts. Labour had a net gain of 17 councils, the Conservatives a net loss of seven and the Liberal Democrats a net loss of one. Four incumbent mayors were re-elected: in the London Boroughs of Hackney, Lewisham and Newham (all Labour), and in Watford (Liberal Democrat). The UK General Election was held on the same day.
25.05.2010Social Indicators
This Research Paper summarises a wide range of social statistics. Subjects covered include crime and justice, defence, education, elections, health and population. This edition includes articles on 'Women in Parliament and public service' and 'Trends in GCSE performance gaps' as well as a topical subject page on coalition statistics.
25.05.2010Coalition statistics
Following the May 2010 elections, the UK has a coalition government for the first time in decades. This note shows that coalitions are an established form of government in western Europe and the UK.
25.05.2010Women in Parliament and public service
Women make up 51% of the population of the UK, but only 22% of MPs are women. This note looks at women in Parliament, Government and other areas of public life.
23.04.2010Timing of Parliamentary election counts
There has been speculation in the press about the timing of counts at the general election. This note looks at the statutory requirements concerning the count and summarises recent reports suggesting that the count will be moved from Thursday night to Friday in certain areas.
02.04.20102010 General Election: new constituencies; seats and swing
The 2010 General Election will use new constituency boundaries in England, Wales and Northern Ireland. In Scotland the boundaries will be the same as 2005. After the election there will be 650 seats in the House of Commons, four more than the 646 now. In partisan terms, the new areas give a net benefit to the Conservatives. If the 2005 election had been fought on the new boundaries the Conservatives would have gained around 12 additional seats and Labour seven fewer.
26.03.2010Electorate statistics 2009
This Note provides data on the number of electors and attainers in each parliamentary constituency as at 1 December 2009, published by the Office for National Statistics on 26 February 2010.
03.03.2010Councillors and Council Control: 1979-2009
The following note looks at the number of councillors by party in Great Britain since 1979. In 2009 there were around 4,700 fewer councillors in Great Britain than in 1979. This is as a result of numerous changes to the structure of local authorities, particularly the introduction of unitary authorities in Wales and Scotland in 1995, when the number of councillors fell by 1,605. In 2009 the Conservatives are 5,270 councillors better off compared to 1996 when they had 4,276 councillors. Labour has less than half the number of councillors compared to 1996 (11,000). The Conservatives have also seen a gradual increase in the number of councils it controlled in England since 1998 when they had 24 compared to 209 in 2009. Labour on the other hand had seen a steady decrease since 1998 when they controlled 140 councils to the current level of 37 councils in 2009.
01.03.2010Election publications: printer and publisher details
This note discusses the requirement in election law for a candidate's election leaflets and other documents to carry the name and address of the printer and publisher. It discusses the category of offence within which a failure to do so falls, and the other different types of election offices. It also discusses the ability of someone guilty of an 'offence' to apply for relief as a result of inadvertence.
28.01.2010Responsibilities of Returning Officers
This Note sets out the general responsibilities of Returning Officers and Acting Returning Officers in Great Britain. They are appointed under the Representation of the People Act 1983 and are responsible for the conduct of elections.
19.01.2010Social Indicators
This paper summarises a wide range of social statistics. Subjects covered include crime and justice, defence, education, elections, health and population. This edition includes an article from the research service of the Riksdag, Sweden entitled 'Young offenders and juvenile justice in Sweden', as well as articles on youth crime and punishment in England and Wales, new consituencies in the 2010 General Election, and the effects of the cold weather from mid-December 2009 to mid-January 2010.
15.01.2010International Elections
30.12.2009Ethiopia in the run-up to May 2010 elections
The 2005 federal and regional elections in Ethiopia produced a major political crisis. Now the electoral wheel has turned and observers are waiting to see whether the May 2010 elections will be less turbulent. This note provides a brief historical and social survey of Ethiopia. It then looks at the political situation in Ethiopia since 2005. It concludes with a short update on the state of the Eritrea-Ethiopia border dispute.
01.12.2009Speaker's Conferences
This note looks briefly at the background to previous conferences and lists them, with their terms of reference.
23.09.2009Candidate selection-Primaries
This Note looks at the possibility of introducing primaries into the candidate selection processes of UK political parties, following the experiment of an open primary in Totnes, Devon, by the Conservative Party. It also examines experience of primaries in the United States, where the procedure is well established.
27.07.2009Progress of the Political Parties and Elections Bill 2008-09
The Political Parties and Elections Bill was introduced into the House of Commons on 17 July 2008 and was carried over from the 2007-08 session. The Bill received Royal Assent on 21 July 2009. This Note summarises the debates and changes made to the Bill in the House of Commons and the House of Lords after Committee stage in the Commons
17.06.2009European Parliament Elections 2009
Elections to the European Parliament were held across the 27 states of the European Union between 4 and 7 June 2009. The UK elections were held concurrently with the county council elections in England on 4 June. The UK now has 72 MEPs, down from 78 at the last election, distributed between 12 regions. The Conservatives won 25 seats, both UKIP and Labour 13 and the Liberal Democrats 11. The Green Party held their two seats, while the BNP won their first two seats in the European parliament. Labour lost five seats compared with the comparative pre-election position. The Conservatives won the popular vote overall, and every region in Great Britain except the North East, where Labour won, and Scotland, where the SNP won. UKIP won more votes than Labour. UK turnout was 34.5%. Across Europe, centre-right parties, whether in power or opposition, tended to perform better than those on the centre-left. The exact political balance of the new Parliament depends on the formation of Groups. The UK was not alone in seeing gains for far-right and nationalistic parties. Turnout across the EU was 43%. It was particularly low in some of the newer Member States. Part 1 of this paper presents the full results of the UK elections, including regional analysis and local-level data. Part 2 presents summary results of the results across the EU, together with country-level summaries based on data from official national sources.
15.06.2009Local elections 2009
This paper summarises the results of the local and mayoral elections held on 4 June 2009. Elections were held in all 27 shire counties in England (all seats) and seven English unitary authorities (Bedford, Bristol (one-third of seats), Central Bedfordshire, Cornwall, Isle of Wight, Shropshire and Wiltshire). The Conservatives made a net gain of seven councils and 244 seats. Labour made a net loss of four councils and 291 seats. The Liberal Democrats made a net loss of one council and two seats. The Greens gained eight seats in net terms while the UK Independence Party made a net gain of seven seats, and the British National Party made a net gain of three seats Estimates suggest that the Conservatives won 35% of the national equivalent share of the vote, Liberal Democrats 25% and Labour 22%. Turnout was estimated to be 35%. There were mayoral elections in three areas and UK-wide elections for the European Parliament on the same day
13.05.2009Election timetables
08.05.2009Electoral performance of the British National Party in the UK
This note provides data on the electoral performance of the UK's British National Party (BNP) in local and parliamentary elections. This note has been updated to include results from the local elections held in England on 1 May 2008. It also comments upon results from various elections up to 2006, as well as overall results from the 2007 and 2008 local elections.
26.03.2009European Parliament Political Groups
This Note looks briefly at political groups in the European Parliament.
16.03.2009Candidates' addresses on the ballot paper
A new clause was added to the Political Parties and Elections Bill at report stage on 2 March 2009 which would allow candidates to withhold their home address from publication. There has been a provision to require a candidate to give his home address on the nomination form, from where it is transferred to the ballot paper, since the Ballot Act 1872. This Note looks at the background to this requirement and at earlier calls for the practice to be discontinued.
29.01.20092009 European Parliament Elections: parties, polls and recent developments
The European Parliament (EP) elections will be held in the UK on 4 June 2009, alongside local elections. This Note looks at the EC Treaty base for the elections, public views and voter turnout, and European political groups and parties.
29.01.2009Marginal seats
This note lists UK Parliament seats by marginality using results for the 2005 General Election. Majorities are measured by both numbers of votes and shares of the vote inpercentage points.
27.01.20092009 European Parliament Elections
Voting in the 2009 European Parliament elections will take place across the EU from 4 to 7 June. In the United Kingdom voting will be on Thursday 4 June 2009. The number of UK MEPs is to be reduced at these elections from 78 currently to 72. On the basis of the 2004 results, the UK's six fewer MEPs would have meant reductions of three MEPs for the Conservatives, two for the Liberal Democrats and one for Labour. For Great Britain, seats in the European Parliament are allocated to Parties according to a "d'Hondt" quota system which operates for each region. For Northern Ireland a different system of Single Transferable Vote is used. This note sets out the changes to the number of seats by region and what this would have meant if the 2004 elections had been fought on this basis.
16.12.2008Political Parties and Elections Bill: Committee Stage Report
This is a report on the Committee Stage of the Political Parties and Elections Bill 2007-08 produced in response to a recommendation of the Modernisation Committee in its report on The Legislative Process (HC 1097, 2005-06). The Bill has been reintroduced as Bill 4 of 2008-09 and is awaiting a date for report stage in the Commons.
14.11.2008US Elections 2008
Elections for US President, Senate, House of Representatives and 11 State Governors, 4 November 2008. Democratic candidate Senator Barack Obama won the US Presidential Election, defeating the Republican candidate Senator John McCain.
08.10.2008Social Indicators
This Research Paper summarises a wide range of social statistics. Subjects covered include crime and justice, defence, education, elections, health and population. This edition of Social Indicators includes an article from the Research Service of the Parliament of Australia on the immigration of highly skilled workers. This edition includes articles: - Recent trends in skilled migration to Australia - Energy price rises and their impact on demand - The UK Housing market And topical subject page on - US elections 2008
30.09.2008The Political Parties and Elections Bill
This Research Paper looks at the Political Parties and Elections Bill, it includes impacts on the Electoral Commission and political donations and expediture.
05.09.20083-way marginal seats
3-way marginal seats. By Sean Lightbown. SN/SG/3425.
25.06.2008Weekend voting
This Note also looks at earlier proposals to move polling day to the weekend and at electoral pilot schemes held at local elections where electors have been able to vote at the weekend preceding the election or, in one instance, at the weekend instead of on the Thursday.
20.05.2008London elections 2008
Elections for Mayor of London and London Assembly, 1 May 2008.
04.03.2008Electoral Pilot Schemes
The Representation of the People Act 2000 enabled local authorities to pilot a range of new electoral procedures. Details of the different types of pilot schemes that have been run since 2000 are given, including the pilots held at the May 2007 local elections.
01.02.2008Election Statistics: UK 1918-2007
This paper has been superseded by Research Paper 12/43, UK Election Statistics: 1918-2012.
15.11.2007General Election Dates 1832-2005
This note gives the dates for all UK General elections since 1832. The span of dates for elections which took place before 1918 indicates the first and last polling days for that General Election. Polling took place on one day only for the first time in 1918. The note also gives details of changes in Prime Minister/Party administration between General Elections; the name of the first Prime Minister to serve is in bold, and any subsequent Prime Minister, who formed an administration before the next General Election, is in brackets.
31.07.2007The Welsh Assembly elections May 2007: the formation of the Welsh Assembly Government and recent developments in the Assembly
This Standard Note summarises the results of the Welsh Assembly elections in May 2007; the nomination of the First Minister and formation of the Welsh Assembly Government and recent developments in the National Assembly for Wales, including the election of the Presiding Officer and Deputy Presiding Officer, the election of the Assembly Commission and the setting up of committees. It also looks at the way in which the Assembly will be able to acquire new powers (via Legislative Competence Orders) to pass legislation called Assembly Measures.
31.05.2007Scottish Parliament election: 3 May 2007
Scottish Parliament election: 3 May 2007. House of Commons Library Research Paper 07/46
21.05.2007The Arbuthnott report and Scottish elections
This Note examines the Commission's recommendations and subsequent consideration of the report by the House of Commons. Details of the Government's response to the report are also given.
22.03.2007Election timetables
Election timetables. House of Commons Library Research Paper 07/31.
12.07.2006The Electoral Administration Bill 2005-06 a note on the Bill's progress
This Note summarises the Standing Committee debates and changes made to the Bill in the House of Commons and the House of Lords.
14.03.2006Power to the People: the report of Power, an Independent Inquiry into Britain's Democracy.
The Power Inquiry was established and funded by the Joseph Rowntree Charitable Trust and the Joseph Rowntree Reform Trust to investigate why there has been a decline in participation in formal politics and to make proposals to reverse this trend. The report of the Power Inquiry was published on 27 February 2006.
10.03.2006General Election 2005
General Election 2005. House of Commons Library Research Paper 05/33
31.12.2005Local and Mayoral elections 2005
Local and Mayoral elections 2005. House of Commons Library Research Paper 05/93
19.10.2005The Electoral Administration Bill 2005 - 2006
18.10.2005Changing the General Election deposit threshold
13.06.2005Social Indicators
Social indicators. [Includes articles on General Election 2005 and NHS waiting lists and targets in England and topical subject pages on waste and recycling, abortion and General Election 2005:summary]. House of Commons Library Research Paper 05/44.
11.05.2005By-election results 2001-05
By-election results 2001-05. House of Commons Library Research Paper 05/34
30.03.2005All-postal voting
This note considers all-postal ballots which have been used at a number of elections in recent years; postal voting on demand is not discussed. This note examines the powers available to local authorities to conduct all-postal ballots and recent developments which have seen pilot all-postal ballots in four regions at the European Parliamentary elections in June 2004 and in the referendum in the North East for a regional assembly.
18.03.2005General Election 2005: Swingometer
09.03.2005Electorates - 2004/05
Electorates - 2004/05. By Richard Cracknell. SN/SG/2165.
23.02.2005Electoral Registration (Northern Ireland) Bill (HL) (Bill 64 of 2004/05)
The Electoral Registration (Northern Ireland) Bill (HL). (Bill 64 of 2004/05). House of Commons Library Research Paper 05/15.
03.02.2005European Union Bill (Bill 45 of 2004/05)
31.01.2005Registering to Vote - deadlines
This note updates one element of SN/PC/1114 Electoral Registration Changes: it provides details of the last date by which voters must register in order to be able to vote at a General Election on a given date.
15.11.20042004 US Presidential and Congressional election results
2004 US Presidential and Congressional election results. House of Commons Library Research Paper 04/81.
13.10.2004Disqualification for membership of the House of Commons
This note examines the history of disqualification provisions applicable to Members of the House of Commons. Apart from common and statute law exclusions of aliens and minors, and disqualification for electoral offences set out in the Representation of the People Act 1983, the main legislation is consolidated in the House of Commons Disqualification Act 1975. It also summarises recent changes, such as developments in the law of bankruptcy and mental health and the removal of the prohibition on non-Commonwealth legislators.
08.10.2004Social indicators
Social indicators. (Includes article on Renewable energy,Summer Olympic and Paralympic Games - facts and figures 1896 to 2004,What are National Statistics? and topical subject pages on oil prices, the 'grey vote' and museum and gallery visitors). House of Commons Library Research Paper 04/74.
08.10.2004The "Grey" Vote - Social Indicators Page
The "Grey" Vote - Social Indicators Page. By Adam Mellows-Facer and Ross Young. SN/SG/3216.
28.07.2004UK election statistics 1918-2004
This paper has been superseded by Research Paper 12/43, UK Election Statistics: 1918-2012.
29.06.2004The electoral performance of far-right parties in the UK
The electoral performance of far-right parties in the UK. By Jessica Yonwin. SN/SG/1982.
23.06.2004European Parliament elections 2004
European Parliament elections 2004. House of Commons Research Paper 04/50.
07.06.2004Social indicators
Social indicators. (Includes article on Summer Olympic Games:facts and figures, and topical subject pages on voting at 16 and teenage pregnancy). House of Commons Library Research Paper 04/42.
27.05.2004Proposals for a referendum on the new European constitution
This note examines the practical implications of the decision of the Prime Minister, Tony Blair to hold a referendum on the new EU constitution, if agreed at the European summit. UK wide referendums need primary legislation to set the terms of the question being asked, but the Political Parties, Elections and Referendums Act 2000 regulates the conduct of referendums, setting limits on expenditure.
04.05.2004Election Timetables
This Research Paper sets out the model timetables for Parliamentary general elections and by-elections, together with some illustrative timetables for some possible general election dates. Model local election timetables are also included, together with the timetable for 10 June 2004.
30.03.2004The European Parliamentary and Local Elections (Pilots) Bill: recent developments
This Note charts the recent developments in the European Parliamentary and Local Elections (Pilots) Bill.
16.10.2003European Parliamentary and Local Elections (Pilots) Bill (Bill 160 2002/03)
European Parliamentary and Local Elections (Pilots) Bill (Bill 160 2002/03). House of Commons Library Research Paper 03/76.
01.07.2003UK election statistics 1945-2003
This paper has been superseded by Research Paper 12/43, UK Election Statistics: 1918-2012.
14.05.2003Welsh Assembly Elections: 1 May 2003
Welsh Assembly Elections: 1 May 2003. House of Commons Library Research Paper 03/45.
14.05.2003Scottish Parliament elections:1 May 2003
Scottish Parliament elections:1 May 2003. House of Commons Library Research Paper 03/46.
12.05.2003Local Elections 2003
Local elections 2003. House of Commons Library Research Paper 03/44.
09.05.2003Northern Ireland Assembly (Elections and Periods of Suspension) Bill (Bill 104 of 2002/03 )
Northern Ireland Assembly (Elections and Periods of Suspension) Bill. (Bill 104 of 2002/03). House of Commons Library Research Paper 03/43.
13.03.2003Northern Ireland Assembly Elections Bill (Bill 21 of 2002/03)
Northern Ireland Assembly Elections Bill. (Bill 74 of 2002/03). House of Commons Library Research Paper 03/21.
04.12.2002European Parliament (Representation) Bill (HL 7 2002/03)
European Parliament (Representation) Bill ( Bill 7 of 2002/03).House of Commons Library Research Paper 02/78.
10.04.2002Social indicators
Social indicators. (Includes articles on Railways across Europe, Private medical insurance and Sources of election statistics). House of Commons Library Research Paper 02/22.
01.11.2001Social indicators
Social indicators. (Includes articles on Election Turnout, Adult Literacy and Sources of Social Security Statistics). House of Commons Library Research Paper 01/83.
22.10.2001Sex Discrimination (Election Candidates) Bill (Bill 28 of 2001-02)
Sex Discrimination (Election Candidates) Bill (Bill 28 of 2001/02). House of Commons Library Research Paper 01/75.
03.04.2001Elections Bill (Bill 80 of 2000-01)
The Elections Bill (Bill 80 of 2000/01). House of Commons research paper 01/44.
29.03.2001Election Publications Bill (HL) (Bill 41 of 2000-01)
Election Publications Bill (HL) (Bill 41 of 2000/01). House of Commons Library Research Paper 01/40.
05.02.2001Parliamentary Election Timetables
Parliamentary election timetables (4th ed). House of Commons Library Research Paper 01/14 (replaces 97/40).
26.01.2001House of Commons (Removal of Clergy Disqualification) Bill (Bill 34 of 2000/01)
The House of Commons (Removal of Clergy Disqualification) Bill (Bill 34 of 2000/01). House of Commons Library Research Paper 01/11.
06.04.2000Local Government Bill (HL): electoral aspects (Bill 87 1999/2000)
Local Government Bill (HL): electoral aspects. (Bill 87 of 1999/2000). House of Commons Library Research Paper 00/45.
20.01.2000Disqualification Bill (Bill 41 of 1999/2000)
Disqualification Bill (Bill 41 of 1999/2000). House of Commons Library Research Paper 00/6.
07.01.2000Political Parties Elections and Referendums Bill - referendums and broadcasting (Bill 34 1999/2000)
The Political Parties Elections and Referendums Bill - referendums and broadcasting (Bill 34 of 1999/2000). House of Commons Library Research Paper 00/3.
06.01.2000Political Parties Elections and Referendums Bill - electoral aspects (Bill 34 1999/2000)
The Political Parties Elections and Referendums Bill - electoral aspects (Bill 34 of 1999/2000). House of Commons Library Research Paper 00/1.