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UK Politics - Statistics & Facts

The ongoing Coronavirus pandemic continues to command most of the attention of the United Kingdom's political class, even as the UK navigates unchartered waters outside of the European Union. Health is currently seen as the most important issue facing the country, and due to the collateral economic damage caused by Coronavirus restrictions, the issue of the economy is also seen as a top priority. Although the approval rating for the current government was poor during late 2020, this started to improve in Spring 2021 before deteriorating again going into 2022. This downturn in approval is likely because the current government and Boris Johnson, in particular, have come under scrutiny for potentially breaking lockdown rules at the height of the societal restrictions in 2020. Due to the nature of the allegations, which concern celebratory social gatherings at Downing Street, the scandal has become known as 'Partygate' and has led to a reversal in fortunes for the Prime Minister. According to recent polls, the Labour party are currently ahead of the Conservatives when the British public were asked who they would vote for in the next general election, along with an uptick in the share of people who think that the Labour leader, Keir Starmer, would make a better Prime Minister than Boris Johnson.

The Brexit Saga

Modern British politics has undoubtedly been dominated by the issue of Brexit, following the result of the UK’s referendum to withdraw from the European Union in 2016. The 2017 general election was in many ways a reaction to Brexit, an attempt by the Conservative Party to increase their majority in parliament and strengthen their hand in the Brexit negotiations. The Prime Minister, Theresa May, did return to power, but with a reduced number of seats in the House of Commons. May's pyrrhic victory in that election was followed by almost two years of constant instability, which saw May gradually lose political capital as she attempted to get her unpopular Brexit deal approved by parliament three times in early 2019. Her inability to do so led to her resignation and the rise to power of Boris Johnson, who would go on to decisively win the 2019 general election and achieve his goal of taking Britain out of the European Union on January 31, 2020. Any honeymoon period that Johnson may have had was soon shattered by the Coronavirus pandemic, with the first UK cases reported on the very same day that Britain left the EU.

UK politics explained

While the United Kingdom is technically still a monarchy and also has an unelected upper-house in the form of the House of Lords, the true center of executive and legislative power lies in the House of Commons. The 650 Members of Parliament (MPs) that sit in the UK’s House of Commons represent 650 electoral areas called constituencies. Voters in the UK elect an MP for their constituency who will sit in parliament to stand for both local and national interests. Almost all MPs belong to political parties, the largest of which is the center-right Conservative Party and the center-left Labour Party. If one single party can win 326 or more seats in a general election, it will be able to form a government by virtue of having a simple majority in the House of Commons. The leader of the party who wins the most MPs usually goes on to become the Prime Minister, although these leaders must also win the constituency they represent, just like any other MP.

Interesting statistics

In the following 5 chapters, you will quickly find the 38 most important statistics relating to "UK Politics".

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