House of Commons of the United Kingdom

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The term House of Commons is used by many countries to describe part of their parliament. In the United Kingdom, the House of Commons is the part of the parliament which has the most power. It is made up of Members of Parliament elected by the people. Sometimes it is called the 'lower house'. (The 'upper house' is called the House of Lords.) Other countries also have parts of parliament called the House of Commons which work in the same way.

In the British parliament, there are 650 Members of Parliament or MPs. Each MP represents a constituency, which covers an area of the country. The people of each constituency vote at a general election or a by-election to choose one person to represent them in the House of Commons. Usually, the people choose someone who belongs to a political party. When all the parties get together, the party which has the most members is the government and runs the country. The leader of that party is called the Prime Minister.

The House of Commons hold their meetings in the Palace of Westminster. Their chief officer is the Speaker of the House elected by MPs. The Clerk of the House of Commons is the Principal Advisor of the Speaker and is in charge of the security.

Current Composition[change | change source]

UK House of Commons 2017.svg
Party Members
At 2017 Election Current seats
Conservative 317 315
Labour 262 259
S.N.P. 35 35
Liberal Democrats 12 12
D.U.P 10 10
Sinn Féin 7 7
Plaid Cymru 4 5
Green 1 1
 Independent 1 6
Speaker 1 1
TOTAL: 650 650
Government* Majority 14 10

* Is the Conservative minority government which has the D.U.P. supporting it with a confidence and Supply agreement.

Seeming Sinn Féin does not take their seats the number of seats a party needs for a majority is 320

Electoral Results Since 1945[change | change source]

Conservative Labour Liberal S.N.P. Other
1945 197 393 12 0 38
1950 298 315 9 0 3
1951 321 295 6 0 3
Winston Churchill resigns and Anthony Eden becomes Prime Minister
1955 345 277 6 0 8
Anthony Eden resigns and Harold Macmillan becomes Prime Minister
1959 365 258 6 0 1
Harold Macmillan resigns and Alec Douglas-Home becomes Prime Minister
1964 304 317 9 0 0
1966 253 364 12 0 1
1970 330 288 6 1 5
1974 297 301 14 7 16
1974 277 319 13 11 15
Harold Wilson resigns and James Callaghan becomes Prime Minister
1979 339 269 11 2 14
1983 397 209 23 2 19
1987 376 229 22 3 21
The Liberal and S.D.P. parties merge and Form The Liberal Democrats
Margaret Thatcher resigns and John Major becomes Prime Minister
1992 336 271 20 3 21
1997 165 418 46 6 24
2001 166 413 52 5 23
2005 198 355 62 4 23
Tony Blair resigns and Gordon Brown Becomes Prime Minister
2010 306 258 57 6 23
2015 330 232 8 56 24
David Cameron resigns and Theresa May becomes Prime Minister
2017 317 262 12 35 24