UK: Political forces at a glance

Content Type
Country Data and Maps
Economist Intelligence Unit
No abstract is available.
Politics, Summary, Background, Political forces at a glance
Political Geography
United Kingdom

Political outlook: Political forces at a glance

The UK is a parliamentary democracy. The legislature consists of an elected lower chamber, the House of Commons (650 seats), and an unelected upper chamber, the House of Lords (about 825 members), which was partly reformed in 1999. Pending a second stage of reform, most members of the House of Lords are appointed life peers. The UK is governed by the centre-right Conservative Party under its leader, Theresa May, who became prime minister in July 2016 following the resignation of David Cameron after the Brexit referendum. The Conservative Party has a slim parliamentary majority, but Mrs May's position is bolstered by the fact that the main opposition party, the centre-left Labour Party, is drifting towards unelectability under the leadership of the veteran left-winger, Jeremy Corbyn. The next general election is due by May 2020.

Parliamentary forces
  No. of seats   % share of vote  
  2010 2015 2010 2015
Conservative Party 306 331 36.1 36.9
Labour Party 258 232 28.9 30.4
Scottish National Party 5 56 1.6 4.7
Liberal Democrats 57 8 23.1 7.9
UK Independence Party 0 1 3.1 12.6
Others 24 22 7.8 7.5
Total 650 650 100.0 100.0

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