Political parties

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The page will automatically redirect to Political Parties Research Briefings produced by the Commons Library, Lords Library and POST

Content published before December 2016

This page highlights some of the current parliamentary material available on political parties. 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

26.09.2016Leadership Elections: Labour Party
This Commons Library Briefing Paper sets out the current rules for the election of the Leader and Deputy Leader of the Labour Party.
17.08.2016Scottish National Party leaders and officials since 1975
This note lists SNP leaders and officials since 1975.
05.08.2016Membership of UK political parties
As of July 2016, Labour has 515,000 members, the SNP 120,000, the Liberal Democrats 76,000, the Green Party (England and Wales) 55,500, UKIP 39,000 and Plaid Cymru 8,300. As of December 2013 (latest published figure) the Conservative Party had 149,800 members. Party membership (and income from membership) has risen notably since 2013, both in total and as a percentage of the electorate.
05.08.2016Commons Opposition Day debates since 1997
Opposition day debates in the House of Commons since the 1997 General Election - with links to Hansard.
22.07.2016Liberal Democrat, SDP and Liberal Party leaders and officials since 1975
A list of Liberal Party, Social Democratic Party and Liberal Democrats leaders and officials since 1975
22.07.2016Labour Party leaders and officials since 1975
A list of Labour Party leaders and officials since 1975
22.07.2016Conservative Party leaders and officials since 1975
A list of Conservative Party leaders and officials since 1975
11.07.2016Leadership Elections: Conservative Party
This House of Commons Library briefing paper sets out the current rules for election of a Conservative Party leader, and the background to their introduction.
06.07.2016Members' Changes of Allegiance
This list notes when a Member has changed allegiance from one political party to another or decided to sit as an independent MP. Instances of Members losing or resigning a party whip are also noted.
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.

Lords Library Notes

24.07.2008Peerage creations 1958-2008. LLN 2008/019
This Note presents detailed information on all peerage creations since the first list of life peers was published on 24th July 1958. It updates earlier Notes to the situation at 24th July 2008.


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.

Select Committee Reports

22.11.2011Political party finance: ending the big donor culture.
Committee on Standards in Public Life report [Commons]
10.03.2011Lessons from the process of government formation after the 2010 general election.
Government response. Political and Constitutional Reform Select Committee report [Commons]
20.01.2011Lessons from the process of government formation after the 2010 general election.
Political and Constitutional Reform Select Committee report [Commons]
27.01.2009Legislative scrutiny: Political Parties and Elections Bill.
Human Rights Joint Select Committee report [Commons and Lords]

Early Day Motions

That this House congratulates the Blaenau Gwent Chartist and Historical Society on its work in celebrating the successes of the Chartist movement and commemorating the lives of those ...
That this House congratulates the Christian Socialist Movement on celebrating its 50th anniversary and celebrates the Movement's positive contribution to political thought, social justice ...
That this House notes the comments of Lord Mandelson in the foreword to his updated memoir The Third Man that `I assumed, as the Treasury did, that the outcome [of the Browne Review] ...
08.02.2011HARRY TOUT
That this House notes and congratulates Harry Tout of Guisborough, Cleveland, on reaching his 90th birthday; further notes that he has been a lifelong member of the Labour Party, fought ...
That this House notes the centenary of the death of Robert Noonan (Tressell) on 3 February 2011 interred in a pauper's grave in Walton, Liverpool; recognises the significance of his ...


  • 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