The Politics Association AS Government and Politics Powerpoint Presentation Elections in the UKRevised: Summer 2005
UK Elections – how many chancesto vote? Borough Parish Council Elections County Elections Council ElectionsMayoral ParliamentaryElections Elections (General Elections)EuropeanParliament Scottish Elections Northern Parliament, Ireland Welsh Assembly Assembly
NO Can he vote?•Member of theHouse of Lords•Detained under YESMental Health Act •Over 18•In prison •On the electoral register•Conviction of corrupt •Commonwealth citizen,/ illegal electoral Rep. Of Ireland citizen –practice in last five resident in UKyears •UK citizens living abroad up to 20 years
Which means . . .He can’t vote . . . But Kylie can . . .
It’s useful to know a bit of thehistory…•1832 – Great Reform Act By the end of the 19th•1867 – Second Reform Act century only 28% of•1884/5 – Third Reform Act the adult population had the opportunity to vote. Property became less an less important as a None of the 19th century qualification to vote. reforms gave women the vote.
and in the 20th century . . . Representation of the‘Votes for Women’ People Act 1918•Women •Electorate rises from 7.7m to 21.4m. had been •All men over 21 and women over 30campaigning since 1867. given vote.•Suffragettes and Equal Franchise Act 1928Suffragists organisedcampaigns in the late 19th •Women given vote on same terms as men.and early 20th centuries. •5m new voters created.•The campaign was Representation of thedisrupted by World WarOne, yet the political People Act 1949 •Business & undergraduate votesargument appeared to abolished.have been won. •6 month residence qualification removed. Minimum voting age lowered to 18 in 1969.
Who can stand for Parliament? Aged 21 or over? A British citizen? You also need . . . Bankrupt? •Nomination papers •£500 deposit A member of the judiciary? In prison? • Strict spending limits. •Election spending is A vicar? audited. Member of the Lords? •Neill Report (1988) - recommended cap on Police officer? election spending. In the army? A civil servant? Local government officer? Lord Neill
The UK electoral system A simple plurality system known as ‘first It works like this past the post’. (2005 Election) 650 single member Labour constituencies send 35.3% of votes cast. one MP each to Westminster. 356 seats. Candidate with largest Conservatives number of votes in a 32.3% of votes cast. constituency wins. 198 seats. Party with greatest Liberal Democrats number of seats in 22.1% of votes cast. Parliament wins. 62 seats.
Local & European ElectionsLocal elections European elections Same electoral system Held to elect Members of as Parliament. the European Parliament Councillors elected for 4 (MEPs). year terms. UK has 87 MEPs. Different councils elect Elections every 5 years. councillors at different ‘Closed list’ system. times. Lords, clergy may stand. Turnout - poor (35% in Possible to stand in 2002) a major issue for country NOT your home local politics. state. Some experiments with Turnout poor (24% in postal & online voting. 1999).
Scottish Parliament Elections First elected in 1999 Elected by Additional Member System 129 MSPs 73 Constituencies 73 MSPs – elected by simple majority 56 MSPs – elected in regions by closed list Each voter casts two votes 1999 – Conservatives win NO seats in constituencies yet gained 18 seats through closed list top-up in regions. 1999 election – no overall majority – Scottish Parliament is therefore a coalition.
Welsh Assembly First elected in 1999 Elected by AMS 60 MWAs - 40 constituencies 40 MWAs elected in constituencies by simple majority 20 MWAs elected in regions using closed list Each voter casts two votes 1999 – Conservatives won 1 seat in constituencies topped-up to 8 through the regions 1999 election – no overall majority Lib-Lab coalition
Northern Ireland Assembly Product of the 1998 Good Friday Agreement Assembly has 108 members Elected in June 1998 by STV Turnout 69% - higher than Scotland & Wales Governing Executive – 12 assembly members Assembly currently suspended
Case Study 2005 General Election 356 198 62Party Seats + - Net DUP 9 4 0 +4 SNP 6 2 0 +2 SF 5 1 0 +1 PC 3 0 1 -1 SDLP 3 1 1 0 IKHH 1 0 0 0 UUP 1 0 5 -5 Others 2 2 0 +2
2005 - Turnout Highest – South West England – 66.6% Lowest – North West – 57.1% Whole UK turnout – 61.3% (+ 2%)
2005 – ‘Other Parties’ Ulster Unionist Party loses four seats. The SNP increases its number of seats from four to six. Plaid Cymru goes down from four seats to three. The Green Party, while not winning any seats, won 3.5% of the vote where they stood, up 0.9% on places where they stood in 2001. They won 22% in Brighton Pavilion. The British National Party has slightly increased its share of the vote, but failed to take any seats. Respect Partys George Galloway takes the Labour safe seat of Bethnal Green & Bow in east London. Robert Kilroy-Silk, the leader of new party, Veritas, fails to win Erewash from Labour, polling just under 3,000 - only 6% of the vote. The UK Independence Party fails to make a breakthrough in the election, despite its biggest ever campaign. Dr Richard Taylor, Independent Kidderminster Hospital and Health Concern, holds his seat in Wyre Forest with a reduced majority of 5,250.
2005 – Conservative Manifesto Lower taxes Less bureaucracy Tougher school discipline More school choice Cleaner hospitals Shorter hospital waiting lists Tighter immigration controls More police and prisons
2005 – Labour Manifesto Strong economy Higher living standards Faster NHS treatment Better results at schools Tougher border protection Safer communities More family leave, childcare More aid for Africa
2005 – Lib Dem Manifesto Put patients not targets first Free personal care for elderly Scrap student tuition fees Smaller class sizes 10,000 more police Higher pensions for over 75s Local income tax 50% top tax rate