• Research Briefing

    European Parliament Elections 2009

    Elections to the European Parliament were held across the 27 states of the European Union between 4 and 7 June 2009. The UK elections were held concurrently with the county council elections in England on 4 June. The UK now has 72 MEPs, down from 78 at the last election, distributed between 12 regions. The Conservatives won 25 seats, both UKIP and Labour 13 and the Liberal Democrats 11. The Green Party held their two seats, while the BNP won their first two seats in the European parliament. Labour lost five seats compared with the comparative pre-election position. The Conservatives won the popular vote overall, and every region in Great Britain except the North East, where Labour won, and Scotland, where the SNP won. UKIP won more votes than Labour. UK turnout was 34.5%. Across Europe, centre-right parties, whether in power or opposition, tended to perform better than those on the centre-left. The exact political balance of the new Parliament depends on the formation of Groups. The UK was not alone in seeing gains for far-right and nationalistic parties. Turnout across the EU was 43%. It was particularly low in some of the newer Member States. Part 1 of this paper presents the full results of the UK elections, including regional analysis and local-level data. Part 2 presents summary results of the results across the EU, together with country-level summaries based on data from official national sources.

  • Research Briefing

    Local elections 2009

    This paper summarises the results of the local and mayoral elections held on 4 June 2009. Elections were held in all 27 shire counties in England (all seats) and seven English unitary authorities (Bedford, Bristol (one-third of seats), Central Bedfordshire, Cornwall, Isle of Wight, Shropshire and Wiltshire). The Conservatives made a net gain of seven councils and 244 seats. Labour made a net loss of four councils and 291 seats. The Liberal Democrats made a net loss of one council and two seats. The Greens gained eight seats in net terms while the UK Independence Party made a net gain of seven seats, and the British National Party made a net gain of three seats Estimates suggest that the Conservatives won 35% of the national equivalent share of the vote, Liberal Democrats 25% and Labour 22%. Turnout was estimated to be 35%. There were mayoral elections in three areas and UK-wide elections for the European Parliament on the same day

  • Research Briefing

    Electoral performance of the British National Party in the UK

    This note provides data on the electoral performance of the UK's British National Party (BNP) in local and parliamentary elections. This note has been updated to include results from the local elections held in England on 1 May 2008. It also comments upon results from various elections up to 2006, as well as overall results from the 2007 and 2008 local elections.

  • Research Briefing

    Candidates’ addresses on the ballot paper

    A new clause was added to the Political Parties and Elections Bill at report stage on 2 March 2009 which would allow candidates to withhold their home address from publication. There has been a provision to require a candidate to give his home address on the nomination form, from where it is transferred to the ballot paper, since the Ballot Act 1872. This Note looks at the background to this requirement and at earlier calls for the practice to be discontinued.

  • Research Briefing

    Marginal seats

    This note lists UK Parliament seats by marginality using results for the 2005 General Election. Majorities are measured by both numbers of votes and shares of the vote inpercentage points.

  • Research Briefing

    2009 European Parliament Elections

    Voting in the 2009 European Parliament elections will take place across the EU from 4 to 7 June. In the United Kingdom voting will be on Thursday 4 June 2009. The number of UK MEPs is to be reduced at these elections from 78 currently to 72. On the basis of the 2004 results, the UK's six fewer MEPs would have meant reductions of three MEPs for the Conservatives, two for the Liberal Democrats and one for Labour. For Great Britain, seats in the European Parliament are allocated to Parties according to a "d'Hondt" quota system which operates for each region. For Northern Ireland a different system of Single Transferable Vote is used. This note sets out the changes to the number of seats by region and what this would have meant if the 2004 elections had been fought on this basis.

  • Research Briefing

    US Elections 2008

    Elections for US President, Senate, House of Representatives and 11 State Governors, 4 November 2008. Democratic candidate Senator Barack Obama won the US Presidential Election, defeating the Republican candidate Senator John McCain.

  • Research Briefing

    Weekend voting

    This Note also looks at earlier proposals to move polling day to the weekend and at electoral pilot schemes held at local elections where electors have been able to vote at the weekend preceding the election or, in one instance, at the weekend instead of on the Thursday.