Labour (including Speaker) 419
Liberal Democrats 46
Ulster Unionist Party 10
National Party 6
Cymru (the Welsh National Party) 4
Democratic and Labour Party 3
Unionist Party 2
Fein (the Catholic Northern Irish Party) 2
Kingdom Unionist 1
Labour majority 177
Female MPs elected 120
What is a constituency? The United Kingdom is
divided into areas which are known as constituencies. You live in a
constituency and will register to vote there. You have one vote which you cast
for the person who you wish to represent you
in the Parliament. Through this you also vote for the party which you wish to
be in the Government. There are 659 constituencies in the United Kingdom.
How often are there general elections? The
time between general elections is 5 years. There were 8 years between elections
at the time of the First World War and 10 years at the time of the Second World
War. About the month before the election the Prime Minister meets a small group
of close advisers
to discuss the date which
would best suit the party. The date is announced to the Cabinet. The Prime
Minister formally asks the Sovereign to dissolve the
General elections are usually held 17 days
after the dissolution of the Parliament. Thursdays are popular general election
days. General elections are often held in either spring or autumn.
What happens on polling day? Each constituency is divided into a
number of polling districts, each of which has a polling station. Most polling
stations are in public buildings such as schools, town halls or council
offices. Voting takes place on election day from 07.00 till 22.00 in each
constituency. Voters are sent a polling card in advance. Voting is by secret
ballot, and the only people allowed in the polling station are the presiding
officer, the polling clerks, the duty police officer, the candidates, their
election agents and the voters.
Just before the poll opens, the presiding officer shows the ballot boxes to those at the polling station to prove that
they are empty. The boxes are then locked and sealed.
Voting takes place in a booth. The voter
marks the ballot paper with
a cross in the box opposite the name of the candidate of his or her choice and
folds the paper to
vote before placing it in the ballot box.
The results from each constituency are
announced as soon as the votes have been counted, usually the same night. The
national result is known by the next morning.
What happens when all of the results are
known? When all of the results are known, the Queen will usually invite the
leader of the party winning the most seats in the House of Commons to be Prime
Minister and to form a Government. The Prime Minister will appoint approximately 100 of his MPs to become
Cabinet or more junior ministers to form the Government. The second largest
party becomes the Official Opposition with a small group of its MPs being
chosen to form the
Shadow Cabinet. Its
leader is known as the Leader of the Opposition.
A date will then be announced for the State
Opening of Parliament, when the Monarch will officially open the new Parliament.
The House of Lords is unelected Chamber so is
not involved in the electoral process. It closes when the Parliament dissolves
and reassembles for the State Opening of Parliament.
elector — виборець choice — вибір
by-election — додаткові
вибори to retire — йти
у відставку voting
— голосування a citizen — громадянин
to represent — представляти,
an adviser — радник,
to dissolve — розпускати
polling day — день
ballot box — виборча урна
a booth — кабіна
a voter — виборець
to conceal — приховувати
appoint — призначати
Cabinet — тіньовий кабінет (склад кабінету міністрів, що
призначається лідерами опозиції)
cast one's vote — подавати голос
Read and translate the text
in the blanks.
1. In the United Kingdom general elections are
held every years.
2. The country is divided into 659.
3. The political party which wins the most seats
in the ... forms the Government.
4. By-elections are held when an ... dies or retires.
5. A Member of Parliament is elected ... each
6. Local ... are set up in schools and halls.
7. Voting takes place throughout ... day.
8. In the polling ... the voter marks a cross by
one name, then puts the paper into the ... box.
9. Voting takes place on Polling Day, usually
10. When all of the results are known the Queen
will usually invite the leader of the party winning the most seats in the House
of Commons to be ... and to form ... .
11. The second largest party becomes the ... .