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.

Commons Briefing Papers

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.
22.01.2016Members' 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.
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.
02.12.2015Short Money
This House of Commons Library briefing paper provides details of the current levels of 'Short money' allocated to opposition parties for parliamentary duties; a brief history of the scheme; and notes recent proposals to reduce Short Money allocations. 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.
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.
16.11.2015UK delegation to the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe
How democratic is the UK's 'democratic conscience'?
20.10.2015Commons Opposition Day Debates since 1997
Opposition day debates in the House of Commons since the 1997 General Election with links to Hansard.
23.09.2015Leadership Elections: Labour Party
This note outlines the rules under which leadership elections are conducted by the Labour Party and gives details of previous leadership contests.
11.08.2015Membership 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 near a historic low: 1% of the UK electorate is now a member of the Conservative, Labour or Liberal Democrat Party. Yet membership of smaller parties has risen markedly. This note analyses the size and social characteristics of political party memberships.
16.07.2015Leadership Elections: Liberal Democrats
This note outlines the rules under which leadership elections are conducted by the Liberal Democrats and provides details of previous leadership contests.

Lords Library Notes

20.05.2015Peerage Creations since 1997
This House of Lords Library Note provides details of appointments to the House of Lords since May 1997. It provides tables showing the numbers appointed under the Prime Ministers Tony Blair, Gordon Brown and David Cameron, broken down by party affiliation at the time of appointment. It also includes a chronological list of all those appointed during this period. The information is correct as 30 March 2015, when the 2010 Parliament was dissolved.
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