At stake in this election:
- 659 seats in the House of Commons
Description of government structure:
- Chief of State: Queen ELIZABETH II *
- Head of Government: Prime Minister Anthony (Tony) BLAIR
- Assembly: United Kingdom has a bicameral Parliament consisting of the House of Lords with 693 seats and the House of Commons with 659 seats.
* Heir Apparent Prince CHARLES (son of the queen, born 14 November 1948)
Description of electoral system:
- The Queen is hereditary.
- The Prime Minister is elected by parliament to serve a 5-year term. Following legislative elections, the leader of the majority party or the leader of the majority coalition is usually the prime minister.
- In the House of Lords, 526 members are appointed by the monarch and 92 members are hereditary *. In the House of Commons 659 members are elected by plurality vote in single-member constituencies to serve 5-year terms.
* The Queen formally appoints life peers based on a recommendation from the Prime Minister. The right of hereditary Peers to sit and vote in the House of Lords was ended in 1999 by the House of Lords Act. However, 92 members will remain until the next stage of the Lords reform process.
Main parties in the electoral race:
- Party: Labour Party
- Leader: Anthony BLAIR
- Seats won in this House of Commons election: 413
- Seats won in last House of Commons election: 418
- Party: Conservative Party
- Leader: William HAGUE
- Seats won in this House of Commons election: 166
- Seats won in last House of Commons election: 165
- Party: Liberal Democrats
- Leader: Charles KENNEDY
- Seats won in this House of Commons election: 52
- Seats won in last House of Commons election: 46
- Party: Other Parties
- Leader: N/A
- Seats won in this House of Commons election: 28
- Seats won in last House of Commons election: N/A
Last Parliamentary election:
- Parliamentary elections last held: May 1, 1997.
Population and number of registered voters:
- Population: 59,511,464 (July 2000 est.)
- Registered Voters: 44,423,440 ( 2000 )
· Female Population: 30,294,981 (2001)
· Is United Kingdom a signatory to CEDAW: Yes (22 July 1981)
· Has United Kingdom ratified CEDAW: Yes (7 April 1986)
· Gender Quota: No (there are some political parties that have adopted voluntary gender quotas)
· Female candidates in this election: Yes
· Number of Female Parliamentarians: 118 (House of Commons) (following the 2001 elections)
· Human Development Index Position: 14 (2014)
· Social Institutions and Gender Index (SIGI) Categorization: N/A
· Is United Kingdom a signatory to CRPD: Yes (30 March 2007)
· Has United Kingdom ratified CRPD: Yes (8 June 2009)
· Population with a disability: 8,926,719 (est.)