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Political Parties

Disclaimer: The presence or absence of a party on the list below does not imply that SPUC either supports or rejects that party.

The Conservative and Unionist Party (Conservatives/Tories)

The Conservatives are currently in government with an overall majority of 12 seats. They have 331 MPs and 250 Lords. At the 2015 General Election, the Tories received 11,334,576 votes, 36.9% of the votes cast.

The Labour Party

Labour are currently the official opposition as they are the second largest party in the House of Commons, 94 seats short of an overall majority. They have 232 MPs and 213 Lords. At the 2015 General Election, Labour received 9,347,304 votes, 30.4% of the votes cast.

The Scottish National Party (SNP)

The SNP are currently the third largest party in the House of Commons, despite only fielding candidates in the 59 constituencies in Scotland. They have 54 MPs and 0 Lords. At the 2015 General Election, the SNP received 1,454,436 votes, 4.7% of the votes cast.

The Liberal Democrat Party (Lib Dems)

The Liberal Democrats were in coalition government with the Conservatives from 2010 to 2015. They have 8 MPs and 111 Lords. At the 2015 General Election, the Lib Dems received 2,415,862 votes, 7.9% of the votes cast.

The UK Independence Party (UKIP)

UKIP gained their first MP when Douglas Carswell defected to them from the Conservative Party in 2014. They have 1 MP and 3 Lords. At the 2015 General Election, UKIP received 3,881,099 votes, 12.6% of the votes cast.

The Green Party

The Greens gained their first MP at the 2010 General Election when Caroline Lucas was elected MP for Brighton Pavillion. They have 1 MP and 1 Lord. At the 2015 General Election, the Greens received 1,157,613 votes, 3.8% of the votes cast.

Plaid Cymru

Plaid Cymru are a Welsh Nationalist party which only contests seats in Wales. They have 3 MPs and 2 Lords. At the 2015 General Election, Plaid received 181,704 votes, 0.6% of the votes cast.

The Democratic Unionist Party (DUP)

The DUP is the largest of the four parties in Northern Ireland. They have 8 MPs and 4 Lords. At the 2015 General Election, the DUP received 184,260 votes, 0.6% of the votes cast.

Sinn Fein

Sinn Fein is the second largest of the four parties in Northern Ireland. They have 4 MPs and 0 Lords. At the 2015 General Election, Sinn Fein received 176,232 votes, 0.6% of the votes cast.

N.b. Sinn Fein MPs do not take their seats in the House of Commons and are thus absent for all votes.

The Social Democratic and Labour Party (SDLP)

The SDLP is the third of the four parties in Northern Ireland. They have 3 MPs and 0 Lords. At the 2015 General Election, the SDLP received 99,809 votes, 0.3% of the votes cast.

The Ulster Unionist Party (UUP)

The UUP is the smallest of the four parties in Northern Ireland. They have 2 MPs and 2 Lords. At the 2015 General Election, the UUP received 114,935 votes, 0.4% of the votes cast.

English Democrats

The English Democrats have 0 MPs and 0 Lords. At the 2015 General Election, they received 6,531 votes, 0.0% of the votes cast.

Christian Peoples Alliance

The Christian Peoples Alliance have 0 MPs and 0 Lords. At the 2015 General Election, they received 3,260 votes, 0.0% of the votes cast.

Other political labels

Crossbenchers (0 MPs, 179 Lords)

N.b. This only applies to the House of Lords.

Crossbenchers are members of the House of Lords who are not affiliated to any party and do not sit with the government or opposition, but instead choose to sit in the crossbenches between each side in the chamber.

Crossbenchers do not have 'whips' or any collective position on issues. Many of them were non-political appointees to the House.

Bishops (0 MPs, 26 Lords)

N.b. This only applies to the House of Lords.

Also known as the Lords Spiritual or Spiritual Peers, 26 bishops of Church of England sit in the House of Lords alongside the 'Lords Temporal' (i.e. all other peers).

The Presbyterian Church of Scotland is not represented by any bishops in the House of Lords, nor the Anglican churches in Wales and Northern Ireland as they are no longer established churches.

Independent (3 MPs, 0 Lords)

N.b. This only applies to the House of Commons.

Independent MPs are those who have won election to a Parliamentary seat without standing for any party. They may have won through campaigning on a particular key issue or through personal reputation.

Notable independent MPs in recent include Martin Bell in 1997, Richard Taylor in 2001 and George Galloway in 2005.

Non-Affiliated (0 MPs, 30 Lords)

N.b. This only applies to the House of Lords.

Most non-party members of the House of Lords are affiliated to the crossbench group. However, there are exceptions: certain Lords with senior official positions are counted as non-affiliated in order to preserve their neutrality while they hold this role.

Some Lords will also end up non-affiliated after resigning/being expelled from a party (either through a political disagreement or after some scandal). Others may simply choose to be designated non-affiliated instead of joining the crossbench group.

Speaker (1 MP, 1 Lord)

The Speaker of each House is traditionally counted as separate from any party or political group in order to maintain his/her impartiality. The current Speaker of the House of Commons is John Bercow MP, who represents the constituency of Buckinghamshire, and the current Lord Speaker is Baroness Frances D'Souza.

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