Political parties

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.

Standard Notes

29.09.2014Members' Changes of Allegiance
A list of MPs who have changed allegiance from one political party to another or decided to sit as an independent MP
23.09.2014Membership of UK political parties
The UK's political party system is at a time of considerable change. Membership of the three main political parties is at a historic low: less than 1% of the UK electorate is now a member of the Conservative, Labour or Liberal Democrat Party. Yet membership of smaller, often nationalist parties has risen markedly. This note analyses the size and social characteristics of political party memberships.
08.07.2014Short Money
This note provides details of the current levels of 'Short money' allocated to opposition parties for parliamentary duties, and a brief history of the scheme. Figures for the corresponding scheme in the House of Lords (Cranborne money) are provided. The note also provides details of allocations made under the representative money scheme.
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.
24.02.2014Opposition Day Debates 2010 - present
A list of opposition day debates in the House of Commons since the 2010 General Election. With links to Hansard.

Research Papers

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.
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.
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.
11.04.2007The Funding of Political Parties
06.03.2006The Northern Ireland(Miscellaneous Provisions) Bill.

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 ...

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.


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