What are Political Parties?
When you vote in a general election you vote for an MP (Member of Parliament) to represent your area. Most MPs are part of a political party, the party with the majority of MPs (326) wins the election and the leader of that party becomes Prime Minister.
MPs are usually in a particular party because they have similar views to the party’s core beliefs, however their personal opinion may have one or two differences. To get a more accurate idea of what your Local MP stands for it is best to contact them directly.
The Conservative Party
Current Leader: Boris Johnson
Number of MPs: 365
Number of MSPs: 30 (Scottish Conservative & Unionist Party)
Number of MSs: 10 (Welsh Conservatives)
The Labour Party
Current Leader: Keir Starmer
Number of MPs: 199
Number of MSPs: 23 (Scottish Labour)
Number of MSs: 29 (Welsh Labour)
The Scottish National Party
The Liberal Democrats
Current Leader: Ed Davey
Number of MPs: 11
Number of MSPs: 5 (Scottish Liberal Democrats)
Number of MSs: 1 (Welsh Liberal Democrats)
The Democratic Unionist Party
Plaid Cymru (Party of Wales)
The Green Party
Current Leader: Siân Berry & Jonathan Bartley
Number of MPs: 1
Number of MSPs: 5 (Scottish Green Party)
Number of MSs: N/A
Sinn Féin also have representatives elected at General Elections, however they choose not to take their seats, and as a result none of their MPs appear, debate, or vote in the House of Commons.
Alba is a new party, formed by former SNP leader Alex Salmond. Some members of the SNP have defected to Alba, giving them 2 MPs.
As previously mentioned, not all candidates within each party have the same point of view, so it is certainly worth researching the individual candidates standing in your area before deciding.
There are of course a huge number of smaller parties and independent candidates that stand in elections, often it depends on your local area. We recommend you look into the other parties, especially if you’re not inclined to vote for any of the above.
Page updated: 31/3/21