Government Politics of United Kingdom

Last elections: 7th May 2015

Next elections: May 2020

Head of state: Queen Elizabeth II

Head of government: Prime Minister Theresa May

Ruling party: Conservative Party

In the hard-fought May 2005 general election, the ruling Labour Party, led by Tony Blair, won fewer seats (356) than in 2001, and received a reduced share of the votes (35.2%); while both the Conservatives (with 197 seats and 32.3%) and the Liberal Democrats (with 62 seats and 22.0%) made gains. At 61.3%, voter turnout was only 2% higher than in 2001 and this was mainly due to an increase in postal voting. In December 2005 shadow education minister David Cameron became Conservative Party leader. In June 2007 Prime Minister Blair was succeeded as Labour Party leader and prime minister by Gordon Brown, who was the only candidate.

In the May 2010 election, the Conservative Party won 306 of the 649 seats contested (voting in one constituency was postponed following the death of a candidate) and 36.1% of votes, but failed to secure a parliamentary majority; the Labour Party took 258 seats (29.0%) and the Liberal Democrats 57 (23.0%). The Conservatives and Liberal Democrats formed a coalition with Cameron as prime minister and Liberal Democrat leader Nick Clegg as deputy prime minister; it was the country’s first full coalition government for 65 years.

In the general election of 2015, the first to come at the end of a fixed term government, the Conservative Party won 330 of the 650 seats (36.9% of votes).  The Labour Party won 232 seats (30.4%) while the Scottish National Party (SNP) took 56 seats (4.7%) in contrast to the Liberal Democrats’ 8 seats (7.9%).  After successfully gaining a parliamentary majority, a Conservative government was formed and David Cameron remained Prime Minister.  In July 2016 David Cameron resigned, following the result of the UK’s referendum on its EU membership.  He was succeeded by Theresa May, the former Home Secretary.