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Uk Politics

UK politics in the Shadow of the Coronavirus: Is Brexit still on the agenda? When: Monday, 27 April , Where: Concordia Cloud. an attempt to stop MPs blocking the UK leaving the EU without a deal. Show more. Published: 29 August Section: BBC News. Subsection: UK Politics. The Guardian's political editor, Heather Stewart, and deputy political editor, Jessica Elgot, are joined by commentators, experts and politicians to unpack the​.

UK politics: new leader, old problems

The Guardian's political editor, Heather Stewart, and deputy political editor, Jessica Elgot, are joined by commentators, experts and politicians to unpack the​. UK politics in the Shadow of the Coronavirus: Is Brexit still on the agenda? When: Monday, 27 April , Where: Concordia Cloud. UK politics: local government & politics - related words and phrases | Cambridge SMART Vocabulary.

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Britain’s political system explained

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De jure , each could have its powers broadened, narrowed or changed by an Act of the UK Parliament. The UK is a unitary state with a devolved system of government.

This contrasts with a federal system, in which sub-parliaments or state parliaments and assemblies have a clearly defined constitutional right to exist and a right to exercise certain constitutionally guaranteed and defined functions and cannot be unilaterally abolished by Acts of the central parliament.

All three devolved institutions are elected by proportional representation : the Additional Member System is used in Scotland and Wales, and Single Transferable Vote is used in Northern Ireland.

England , therefore, is the only country in the UK not to have its own devolved parliament. However, senior politicians of all main parties have voiced concerns in regard to the West Lothian Question , [9] [10] which is raised where certain policies for England are set by MPs from all four constituent nations whereas similar policies for Scotland or Wales might be decided in the devolved assemblies by legislators from those countries alone.

Alternative proposals for English regional government have stalled, following a poorly received referendum on devolved government for the North East of England , which had hitherto been considered the region most in favour of the idea, with the exception of Cornwall , where there is widespread support for a Cornish Assembly , including all five Cornish MPs.

The government has no plans to establish an English parliament or assembly although several pressure groups [13] are calling for one. One of their main arguments is that MPs and thus voters from different parts of the UK have inconsistent powers.

Currently an MP from Scotland can vote on legislation which affects only England but MPs from England or indeed Scotland cannot vote on matters devolved to the Scottish parliament.

Indeed, the former Prime Minister Gordon Brown , who is an MP for a Scottish constituency, introduced some laws that only affect England and not his own constituency.

This anomaly is known as the West Lothian question. The policy of the UK Government in England was to establish elected regional assemblies with no legislative powers.

The London Assembly was the first of these, established in , following a referendum in , but further plans were abandoned following rejection of a proposal for an elected assembly in North East England in a referendum in Unelected regional assemblies remain in place in eight regions of England.

The Scottish Parliament is the national, unicameral legislature of Scotland , located in the Holyrood area of the capital Edinburgh.

The Parliament, informally referred to as "Holyrood" [14] cf. Members are elected for four-year terms under the mixed member proportional representation system.

As a result, 73 MSPs represent individual geographical constituencies elected by the plurality "first past the post" system, with a further 56 returned from eight additional member regions, each electing seven MSPs.

The current Scottish Parliament was established by the Scotland Act and its first meeting as a devolved legislature was on 12 May The parliament has the power to pass laws and has limited tax-varying capability.

Another of its roles is to hold the Scottish Government to account. The "devolved matters" over which it has responsibility include education , health , agriculture, and justice.

A degree of domestic authority, and all foreign policy, remains with the UK Parliament in Westminster.

The public take part in Parliament in a way that is not the case at Westminster through Cross-Party Groups on policy topics which the interested public join and attend meetings of alongside Members of the Scottish Parliament MSPs.

The resurgence in Celtic language and identity, as well as 'regional' politics and development, has contributed to forces pulling against the unity of the state.

Nationalism support for breaking up the UK has experienced a dramatic rise in popularity in recent years, with a pivotal moment coming at the Scottish Parliament election where the SNP capitalised on the collapse of the Liberal Democrat support to improve on their performance to win the first ever outright majority at Holyrood despite the voting system being specifically designed to prevent majorities , with Labour remaining the largest opposition party.

This election result prompted the leader of the three main opposition parties to resign. Also in the wake of the referendum, Scottish Labour leader, Johann Lamont, stood down and Jim Murphy was elected to replace her.

Mr Murphy was the leader of Scottish Labour Party until the general election in in which he lost his seat in Westminster, after the defeat he resigned his position and her deputy MSP Kezia Dugdale became leader of the party and leader of SLP in Holyrood.

The Senedd Cymru is the devolved legislature of Wales with power to make legislation and vary taxes. Members are elected for four-year terms under an additional members system , where 40 MSs represent geographical constituencies elected by the plurality system, and 20 MSs from five electoral regions using the d'Hondt method of proportional representation.

The Welsh Parliament was created by the Government of Wales Act , which followed a referendum in On its creation, most of the powers of the Welsh Office and Secretary of State for Wales were transferred to it.

The Welsh Parliament had no powers to initiate primary legislation until limited law-making powers were gained through the Government of Wales Act Its primary law-making powers were enhanced following a Yes vote in the referendum on 3 March , making it possible for it to legislate without having to consult the UK parliament , nor the Secretary of State for Wales in the 20 areas that are devolved.

This created the Northern Ireland Assembly. The Assembly is a unicameral body consisting of 90 members elected under the Single Transferable Vote form of proportional representation.

The Assembly is based on the principle of power-sharing, in order to ensure that both communities in Northern Ireland, unionist and nationalist , participate in governing the region.

It has power to legislate in a wide range of areas and to elect the Northern Ireland Executive cabinet. It sits at Parliament Buildings at Stormont in Belfast.

The Assembly has authority to legislate in a field of competences known as "transferred matters". These matters are not explicitly enumerated in the Northern Ireland Act but instead include any competence not explicitly retained by the Parliament at Westminster.

Powers reserved by Westminster are divided into "excepted matters", which it retains indefinitely, and "reserved matters", which may be transferred to the competence of the Northern Ireland Assembly at a future date.

Health, criminal law and education are "transferred" while royal relations are all "excepted". While the Assembly was in suspension, due to issues involving the main parties and the Provisional Irish Republican Army IRA , its legislative powers were exercised by the UK government, which effectively had power to legislate by decree.

Laws that would normally be within the competence of the Assembly were passed by the UK government in the form of Orders-in-Council rather than legislative acts.

The United Kingdom does not have a single legal system due to it being created by the political union of previously independent countries with the terms of the Treaty of Union guaranteeing the continued existence of Scotland's separate legal system.

Recent constitutional changes saw a new Supreme Court of the United Kingdom come into being in October that took on the appeal functions of the Appellate Committee of the House of Lords.

Both English law, which applies in England and Wales , and Northern Ireland law are based on common-law principles. The essence of common-law is that law is made by judges sitting in courts, applying their common sense and knowledge of legal precedent stare decisis to the facts before them.

The Supreme Court of the United Kingdom is the highest court in the land for both criminal and civil cases in England , Wales , and Northern Ireland and any decision it makes is binding on every other court in the hierarchy.

Scots law, a hybrid system based on both common-law and civil-law principles, applies in Scotland. The chief courts are the Court of Session , for civil cases, and the High Court of Justiciary , for criminal cases.

The Supreme Court of the United Kingdom serves as the highest court of appeal for civil cases under Scots law. Sheriff courts deal with most civil and criminal cases including conducting criminal trials with a jury, known that as Sheriff solemn Court, or with a Sheriff and no jury, known as Sheriff summary Court.

The Sheriff courts provide a local court service with 49 Sheriff courts organised across six Sheriffdoms. The use of the first-past-the-post to elect members of Parliament is unusual among European nations.

The use of the system means that when three or more candidates receive a significant share of the vote, MPs are often elected from individual constituencies with a plurality receiving more votes than any other candidate , but not an absolute majority 50 percent plus one vote.

Elections and political parties in the United Kingdom are affected by Duverger's law , the political science principle which states that plurality voting systems , such as first-past-the-post, tend to lead to the development of two-party systems.

The UK, like several other states, has sometimes been called a "two-and-a-half" party system, because parliamentary politics is dominated by the Labour Party and Conservative Party, while the Liberal Democrats, used to, hold a significant number of seats but still substantially less than Labour and the Conservatives , and several small parties some of them regional or nationalist trailing far behind in number of seats, although this changed in the general election.

No single party has won a majority of the popular vote since the Third National Government of Stanley Baldwin in On two occasions since World War II — and February — a party that came in second in the popular vote actually came out with the larger number of seats.

Electoral reform for parliamentary elections have been proposed many times. Under this proposal, most MPs would be directly elected from constituencies by the alternative vote , with a number of additional members elected from "top-up lists.

The general election resulted in a hung parliament no single party being able to command a majority in the House of Commons. This was only the second general election since World War II to return a hung parliament, the first being the February election.

The Conservatives gained the most seats ending 13 years of Labour government and the largest percentage of the popular vote, but fell 20 seats short of a majority.

The Conservatives and Liberal Democrats entered into a new coalition government , headed by David Cameron. Under the terms of the coalition agreement the government committed itself to hold a referendum in May on whether to change parliamentary elections from first-past-the-post to AV.

Electoral reform was a major priority for the Liberal Democrats, who favour proportional representation but were able to negotiate only a referendum on AV with the Conservatives.

The coalition partners campaigned on opposite sides, with the Liberal Democrats supporting AV and the Conservatives opposing it. The referendum resulted in the Conservative's favour and the first-past-the-post system was maintained.

Since the s the two main political parties in the UK, in terms of the number of seats in the House of Commons , are the Conservative and Unionist Party and the Labour Party.

The Scottish National Party has the second largest party membership, [19] but a smaller number of MPs as it only fields candidates for constituencies in Scotland.

The modern day Conservative Party was founded in and is an outgrowth of the Tory movement or party, which began in The modern Liberal Party had been founded in as an outgrowth of the Whig movement or party which began at the same time as the Tory Party and was its historical rival as well as the Radical and Peelite tendencies.

The Liberal Party was one of the two dominant parties along with the Conservatives from its founding until the s, when it rapidly declined in popularity, and was supplanted on the left by the Labour Party, which was founded in and formed its first minority government in Since that time, the Labour and Conservative parties have been dominant, with the Liberals later Liberal Democrats being the third-largest party until , when they lost 49 of their 57 seats, they now hold 11 seats.

They lost 10 seats in the general election. Currently the Scottish National Party is the third largest party and have been since the General Election when they gained 56 seats.

Founded in , the SNP advocates Scottish independence and has had continuous representation in Parliament since At the most recent general election in , the Conservatives, gained a majority after 2 years of being a minority government.

The Conservative Party won the largest number of seats at the general election, returning MPs, enough for an overall majority, and went on to form the first Conservative majority government since the general election.

The Conservatives won only seats at the general election, but went on to form a confidence and supply deal with the DUP Democratic Unionist Party who got 10 seats in the House of Commons, allowing the Conservative Party to remain in government.

The Conservatives won seats at the general election and had a majority, forming the first majority government since The Court Party soon became known as the Tories , a name that has stuck despite the official name being 'Conservative'.

The term "Tory" originates from the Exclusion Bill crisis of - the Whigs were those who supported the exclusion of the Roman Catholic Duke of York from the thrones of England, Ireland and Scotland, and the Tories were those who opposed it.

The Rochdale Radicals were a group of more extreme reformists who were also heavily involved in the cooperative movement. They sought to bring about a more equal society, and are considered by modern standards to be left-wing.

After becoming associated with repression of popular discontent in the years after , the Tories underwent a fundamental transformation under the influence of Robert Peel , himself an industrialist rather than a landowner, who in his " Tamworth Manifesto " outlined a new "Conservative" philosophy of reforming ills while conserving the good.

Though Peel's supporters subsequently split from their colleagues over the issue of free trade in , ultimately joining the Whigs and the Radicals to form what would become the Liberal Party , Peel's version of the party's underlying outlook was retained by the remaining Tories, who adopted his label of Conservative as the official name of their party.

The Conservatives were in government for eighteen years between —, under the leadership of the first-ever female Prime Minister, Margaret Thatcher , and former Chancellor of the Exchequer John Major — Their landslide defeat at the general election saw the Conservative Party lose over half their seats gained in , and saw the party re-align with public perceptions of them.

The Conservatives lost all their seats in both Scotland and Wales, and was their worst defeat since The Conservative Party is the only party in the history of the United Kingdom to have been governed by a female Prime Minister.

At one point during his party had a parliamentary minority for a short period after he ejected a large number of party members, of which some were subsequently allowed to return for the General Election.

After the election the Tories returned with a majority government under Johnson. This resulted in the merger between the Conservatives and Joseph Chamberlain's Liberal Unionist Party , composed of former Liberals who opposed Irish home rule.

The unionist tendency is still in evidence today, manifesting sometimes as a scepticism or opposition to devolution, firm support for the continued existence of the United Kingdom in the face of movements advocating independence from the UK, and a historic link with the cultural unionism of Northern Ireland.

The Labour Party won the second-largest number of seats in the House of Commons at the general election, with seats overall, 60 seats less than The history of the Labour Party goes back to , when a Labour Representation Committee was established and changed its name to "The Labour Party" in After the First World War , this led to the demise of the Liberal Party as the main reformist force in British politics.

The existence of the Labour Party on the left-wing of British politics led to a slow waning of energy from the Liberal Party, which has consequently assumed third place in national politics.

After performing poorly at the general elections of , and , the Liberal Party was superseded by the Labour Party as being the party of the left.

Following two brief spells in minority governments in and —, the Labour Party won a landslide victory after World War II at the " khaki election "; winning a majority for the first time ever.

Throughout the rest of the twentieth century, Labour governments alternated with Conservative governments. The Labour Party suffered the "wilderness years" of — three consecutive general election defeats and — four consecutive general election defeats.

During this second period, Margaret Thatcher , who became Leader of the Conservative Party in , made a fundamental change to Conservative policies, turning the Conservative Party into an economically liberal party.

At the general election , she defeated James Callaghan 's Labour government following the Winter of Discontent. For all of the s and most of the s, Conservative governments under Thatcher and her successor John Major pursued policies of privatisation , anti- trade-unionism , and, for a time, monetarism , now known collectively as Thatcherism.

The Labour Party elected left-winger Michael Foot as their leader in , and he responded to dissatisfaction within the Labour Party by pursuing a number of radical policies developed by its grassroots members.

In , several centrist and right-leaning Labour MPs formed a breakaway group called the Social Democratic Party SDP , a move which split Labour and is widely believed to have made the Labour Party unelectable for a decade.

The SDP formed an alliance with the Liberal Party which contested the and general elections as a pro-European, centrist alternative to Labour and the Conservatives.

After some initial success, the SDP did not prosper partly due to its unfavourable distribution of votes by the First-Past-The-Post electoral system , and was accused by some of splitting the Labour vote.

Support for the new party has increased since then, and the Liberal Democrats often referred to as Lib Dems gained an increased number of seats in the House of Commons at both the , and general elections but has lost lots of MPs after.

The Labour Party was defeated in a landslide at the general election , and Michael Foot was replaced shortly thereafter by Neil Kinnock as party leader.

Kinnock progressively expelled members of Militant , a far left group which practised entryism , and moderated many of the party's policies.

Despite these changes, as well as electoral gains and also due to Kinnock's negative media image, Labour was defeated at the and general elections, and he was succeeded by Shadow Chancellor of the Exchequer , John Smith.

He continued to move the Labour Party towards the "centre" by loosening links with the unions and continuing many of Margaret Thatcher's neoliberal policies.

This coupled with the professionalising of the party machine's approach to the media, helped Labour win a historic landslide at the general election , after eighteen consecutive years of Conservative rule.

Some observers say the Labour Party had by then morphed from a democratic socialist party to a social democratic party, a process which delivered three general election victories but alienated some of its core base; leading to the formation of the Socialist Labour Party UK.

At the general election , 26 were elected. This was an increase of 50 MPs on the result achieved in The SNP has enjoyed parliamentary representation continuously since After the Scottish parliamentary election, the SNP won enough seats to form a majority government, the first time this had ever happened since devolution was established in Members of the Scottish National Party and Plaid Cymru work together as a single parliamentary group [26] following a formal pact signed in This group currently has 51 MPs.

The Liberal Democrats won the fourth largest number of seats at the general election, returning 11 MPs. The Liberal Democrats were founded in by an amalgamation of the Liberal Party with the Social Democratic Party, but can trace their origin back to the Whigs and the Rochdale Radicals who evolved into the Liberal Party.

The term ' Liberal Party ' was first used officially in , though it had been in use colloquially for decades beforehand.

The Liberal Party formed a government in and then alternated with the Conservative Party as the party of government throughout the late-nineteenth century and early-twentieth century.

The Liberal Democrats are a party with policies on constitutional and political reforms, including changing the voting system for general elections United Kingdom Alternative Vote referendum , abolishing the House of Lords and replacing it with a member elected Senate, introducing fixed five-year Parliaments, and introducing a National Register of Lobbyists.

They also support what they see as greater fairness and social mobility. In the coalition government, the party promoted legislation introducing a pupil premium - funding for schools directed at the poorest students to give them an equal chance in life.

Founded in by Ian Paisley , it has grown to become the larger of the two main unionist political parties in Northern Ireland.

Plaid Cymru has enjoyed parliamentary representation continuously since and had 4 MPs elected at the general election, though one was suspended.

Following the Welsh Assembly elections, they joined Labour as the junior partner in a coalition government, but have fallen down to the third-largest party in the Assembly after the Assembly elections, and have become an opposition party.

It also has two seats on the London Assembly and over local councillors as of November They campaign mainly on issues such as reducing immigration and EU withdrawal.

As of they have no MPs. The Respect party, a left-wing group that came out of the anti-war movement had a single MP, George Galloway from —, and again between — There are usually a small number of Independent politicians in parliament with no party allegiance.

In modern times, this has usually occurred when a sitting member leaves their party, and some such MPs have been re-elected as independents.

There are currently 3 MPs sitting as Independents. Since , only two new members have been elected as independents without having ever stood for a major party:.

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Liberal Democrats. Green party. Plaid Cymru. Scottish National party. Democratic Unionist party. Ulster Unionist Party.

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Uk Politics This revised and updated ninth edition of the bestselling textbook Politics UK is an indispensable introduction to British politics. It provides a thorough and. Many translated example sentences containing "uk politics" – German-English dictionary and search engine for German translations. UK politics: new leader, old problems. Die vorstehenden Einschätzungen sind die des Autors zum Zeitpunkt der Veröffentlichung und können von denen. An exploration of political traditions and their usage in explanations of British politics. This book includes an evaluation of both classical and critical approaches.

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