Guides

Peers in the House of Lords, London | Copyright: PA

Statements in Parliament

By convention, Parliament expects to be the first to be informed of important issues, including new government policy announcements and updates on developing situations.Read More
Commons motion on Syria: Analysis

Substantive Motions

Debates in the House of Commons take place on a motion to which amendments may be tabled. One special kind of substantive motion is one tabled by the Government to seek approval for expenditure.Read More
Tactical voting has dominated 2010 campaigning

Tactical Voting

Tactical voting is broadly defined as voting for a party that is not your first-preference. The average tactical voter is said to be engaged with politics, pragmatic, and highly educated. In the 2019 General Election, some 19% of voters said they planned to vote tactically.Read More

The Budget

The Budget is the government of the day's main set-piece economic event. It comprises two key elements: the Chancellor's Budget speech to the House of Commons and the publication of the government's detailed financial reports.Read More

Think Tanks

Think tanks are research and advocacy institutions that publish advice on a range of social, political and economic issues in hope of influencing policymakers and the power-holders of society. Here is an overview of the different 'policy wonks' across the political spectrum.Read More
MPs in the House of Commons, London announce the vote in the Government's Brexit-linked Taxation Bill | Copyright: PA

Third Reading

The Third Reading stage of a Bill is normally at least three days after the Report Stage and may last one or two days. Whereas in the Commons, the Third Reading is a debate looking back at the Bill's progress and forward to its implementation, in the Lords, it is a further, and final, opportunity for amendments.Read More

UK Voting Age

The voting age in the UK for General Elections is 18, albeit it is lower in Wales and Scotland for all other elections. Whilst in Hungary, 16 and 17 year old's are allowed to vote if they are married.Read More

Ulster Unionist party

The UUP is regarded as the more moderate force within Ulster Unionism. Its current leader, Doug Beattie, is an ex soldier who once  guarded Adolf Hitler's Deputy, Rudolph Hess, in Spandau Prison. His predecessor as UUP leader, Steve Aiken, had previously been a nuclear submarine commander.Read More
Analysis by the Liberal Democrat whips’ office shows over 20 Labour MPs failed to vote against the government last night

Usual Channels

While no one would deny that the Usual Channels exist, it is a rarity from them to be mentioned in the House of Commons. They are key to the smooth running of the Commons but their influence is matched only by their secrecy.Read More
Lords reform threatens to split parties down the middle

Voting in the House of Lords

Voting the House of Lords is a physical process. When a vote - or 'division' - is called, Peers literally divide into two groups, those in favour (Contents) and those against (Not-Contents).Read More

Welsh Government – Composition

The Welsh Government is made up of the First Minister and eight Welsh Ministers. The composition of the current Welsh government is detailed here.Read More
Catherine McKinell speaks in the Westminster Hall debate about a minister for hospitality

Westminster Hall

In the early part of the Twenty First Century, the time available on the main floor of the House of Commons for so called Private Members debates had become curtailed. This led to the development of the Westminster Hall format.Read More
White paper on House of Lords reform due today

White Paper

White Papers are detailed statements of Government policy, which set the broad principles for legislation, although not all White Papers lead to new laws.Read More
Starmer: Sudden poll movement puts Labour leader in much better position.

Why is Keir Starmer a Sir?

Details of why Sir Keir Starmer received his knighthood, and whether it has any impact on how the labour leader is perceived by voters.Read More

Woke – What does it mean?

An overview of the term 'woke'. What does it mean? What are its origins? How many Brits today regard themselves as woke?Read More
Bercow announces his decision to the Commons this afternoon

Written Questions

Written questions to the government can be tabled by any MP. During the decade 2010 to 2019, the average number of written questions was said to be 3,462 a month. The cost of answering a written question has previously been estimated as costing £140.Read More
Minister ready to use Parliament Act to push through Lords reform

Written Questions – House of Lords

Written Questions are questions posed to the government by a Member of the House of Lords.  They are designed to elicit further information and confirmation around government policy.Read More