Coventry is a city and metropolitan borough in the West Midlands, England. Part of Warwickshire, Coventry is the 9th largest city in England and the 12th largest in the United Kingdom, it is the second largest city in the West Midlands region, after Birmingham. Coventry is 19 miles east-southeast of Birmingham, 24 miles southwest of Leicester, 11 miles north of Warwick and 94 miles northwest of London. Coventry is the most central city in England, being only 11 miles south-southwest of the country's geographical centre in Leicestershire; the current Coventry Cathedral was built after the majority of the 14th century cathedral church of Saint Michael was destroyed by the Luftwaffe in the Coventry Blitz of 14 November 1940. Coventry motor companies have contributed to the British motor industry; the city has two universities, Coventry University in the city centre and the University of Warwick on the southern outskirts. On 7 December 2017, the city won the title of UK City of Culture 2021, after beating Paisley, Stoke-on-Trent and Sunderland to the title.
They will be the third title holder, of the quadrennial award which began in 2013. The Romans founded a settlement in Baginton, next to the River Sowe, another formed around a Saxon nunnery, founded c. AD 700 by St Osburga, left in ruins by King Canute's invading Danish army in 1016. Earl Leofric of Mercia and his wife Lady Godiva built on the remains of the nunnery and founded a Benedictine monastery in 1043 dedicated to St Mary. In time, a market was established at the settlement expanded. Coventry Castle was a bailey castle in the city, it was built in the early 12th century by 4th Earl of Chester. Its first known use was during The Anarchy when Robert Marmion, a supporter of King Stephen, expelled the monks from the adjacent priory of Saint Mary in 1144, converted it into a fortress from which he waged a battle against the Earl. Marmion perished in the battle, it was demolished in the late 12th century and St Mary's Guildhall was built on part of the site. It is assumed. By the 14th century, Coventry was an important centre of the cloth trade, throughout the Middle Ages was one of the largest and most important cities in England.
The bishops of Lichfield were referred to as bishops of Coventry and Lichfield, or Lichfield and Coventry. Coventry claimed the status of a city by ancient prescriptive usage, was granted a charter of incorporation in 1345, in 1451 became a county in its own right; the plays that William Shakespeare witnessed in Coventry during his boyhood or'teens' may have influenced how his plays, such as Hamlet, came about. In the 18th and 19th centuries, Coventry became one of the three main British centres of watch and clock manufacture and ranked alongside Prescot, in Lancashire and Clerkenwell in London; as the industry declined, due to competition from Swiss Made clock and watch manufacturers, the skilled pool of workers proved crucial to the setting up of bicycle manufacture and the motorbike, machine tool and aircraft industries. In the late 19th century, Coventry became a major centre of bicycle manufacture; the industry energised by the invention by James Starley and his nephew John Kemp Starley of the Rover safety bicycle, safer and more popular than the pioneering penny-farthing.
The company became Rover. By the early 20th century, bicycle manufacture had evolved into motor manufacture, Coventry became a major centre of the British motor industry; the research and design headquarters of Jaguar Cars is in the city at their Whitley plant and although vehicle assembly ceased at the Browns Lane plant in 2004, Jaguar's head office returned to the city in 2011, is sited in Whitley. Jaguar is owned by Tata Motors. With many of the city's older properties becoming unfit for habitation, the first council houses were let to their tenants in 1917. With Coventry's industrial base continuing to soar after the end of the Great War a year numerous private and council housing developments took place across the city in the 1920s and 1930s; the development of a southern by-pass around the city, starting in the 1930s and being completed in 1940, helped deliver more urban areas to the city on rural land. Coventry suffered severe bomb damage during the Second World War. There was a massive Luftwaffe air raid that the Germans called Operation Moonlight Sonata, part of the "Coventry Blitz", on 14 November 1940.
Firebombing on this date led to severe damage to large areas of the city centre and to Coventry's historic cathedral, leaving only a shell and the spire. More than 4,000 houses were damaged or destroyed, along with around three quarters of the city's industrial plants. More than 800 people were killed, with thousands injured and homeless. Aside from London and Plymouth, Coventry suffered more damage than any other British city during the Luftwaffe attacks, with huge firestorms devastating most of the city centre; the city was targeted due to its high concentration of armaments, munitions and aero-engine plants which contributed to the British war effort, although there have been claims that Hitler launched the attack as revenge for the bombing of Munich by the RAF six days before the Coventry Blitz and chose the Midlands city because its medieval heart was regarded as one of the finest in Britain. Following the raids, the majority of Coventry's historic buildings could not be saved as they were in ruinous states or were deemed unsafe for any future use.
Several structures were demolished to make way for
An electoral swing analysis shows the extent of change in voter support from one election to another, expressed as a positive or negative percentage. A multi-party swing is an indicator of a change in the electorate's preference between candidates or parties. A swing can be calculated for the electorate as a whole, for a given electoral district or for a particular demographic. A swing is useful for analysing change in voter support over time, or as a tool for predicting the outcome of elections in constituency-based systems. Swing is usefully deployed when analysing the shift in voter intentions revealed by opinion polls or to compare polls concisely which may rely on differing samples and on markedly different swings and therefore predict extraneous results. A swing is calculated by comparing the percentage of the vote in a particular election to the percentage of the vote belonging to the same party or candidate at the previous election. One-party swing = Percentage of vote − percentage of vote.
Examples include the comparison between the 2007 Ukrainian Parliamentary elections. The above charts show the change in voter support for each of the six major political parties by electoral district and nationwide vote results. In many nation states' media, including in Australia and the United Kingdom, swing is expressed in terms of two parties; this practice is most useful where most governments tend to be from an existing two-party system but other candidates do sometimes run, is used to predict the outcome of elections in constituency-based systems where different seats are held with different previous levels of support. An assumption underlies extrapolated national calculations: that all districts will experience the same swing as shown in a poll or in a place's results; the advantage of this swing is the fact that the loss of support for one party will in most cases be accompanied by smaller or bigger gain in support for the other, but both figures are averaged into one. Employing the two assumptions allows the analyst to compute an electoral pendulum, predicting how many seats will change hands given a particular swing, what size uniform swing would therefore bring about a change of government.
In Australia, the term "swing" refers to the change in the outcome of an election from the viewpoint of specific political parties in the preferential voting system. The UK uses the two-party swing, adding one party's increase in share of the vote to the percentage-point fall of another party and dividing the total by two. So if Party One's vote rises by 4 points and Party Two's vote falls 5 points, the swing is 4.5 points. For disambiguation suffixes such as: must be added where three parties stand. Otherwise a problem when deciding which swing is meant and which swing is best to publish arises where a lower party takes first or second. Originating as a mathematical calculation for comparing the results of two constituencies, any of these figures can be used as an indication of the scale of voter change between any two political parties, as shown below for the 2010 United Kingdom general election: Swing in the United States can refer to swing state, those states that are known to shift an outcome between Democrats and Republican Parties, equivalent on a local level to marginal seats.
By contrast, a non-swing state is the direct equivalent of a safe seat, as it changes in outcome. The extent of change in political outcome is influenced by the voting system in use; some websites provide a pie chart based or column-based multi party swingometer where ± x%, ± x%, ± x% and so on is displayed or can be input for three parties. This tool or illustration provides outcomes wherever more than two political parties have a significant influence on which politicians are elected. Swing vote Swingometer Notes References
2017 United Kingdom general election
The 2017 United Kingdom general election took place on Thursday 8 June 2017, having been called just under two months earlier by Prime Minister Theresa May on 18 April 2017 after it was discussed in cabinet. Each of the 650 constituencies elected one Member of Parliament to the House of Commons; the governing Conservative Party remained the largest single party in the House of Commons but lost its majority, resulting in the formation of a minority government with a confidence-and-supply arrangement with the Democratic Unionist Party of Northern Ireland. The Conservative Party was defending a working majority of 17 seats against the Labour Party, the official opposition led by Jeremy Corbyn. Under the Fixed-term Parliaments Act 2011 a general election had not been due until May 2020, but a call by Prime Minister Theresa May for a snap election was ratified by the necessary two-thirds vote in a 522–13 vote in the House of Commons on 19 April 2017. May said that she hoped to secure a larger majority in order to "strengthen hand" in the forthcoming Brexit negotiations.
Opinion polls had shown strong leads for the Conservatives over Labour. From a 21-point lead, the Conservatives' lead began to diminish in the final weeks of the campaign. In a surprising result, the Conservative Party made a net loss of 13 seats with 42.4% of the vote, whereas Labour made a net gain of 30 seats with 40.0%. This was the closest result between the two major parties since February 1974, their highest combined vote share since 1970; the Scottish National Party and the Liberal Democrats, the third- and fourth-largest parties, both lost vote share. The SNP, which had won 56 of the 59 Scottish seats at the previous general election in 2015, lost 21 seats; the Liberal Democrats made a net gain of four seats. UKIP, the third-largest party in 2015 by number of votes, saw its share of the vote reduced from 12.6% to 1.8% and lost its only seat. Plaid Cymru gained one seat; the Green Party saw its share of the vote reduced. In Northern Ireland, the Democratic Unionist Party won 10 seats, Sinn Féin won seven, Independent Unionist Sylvia Hermon retained her seat.
The Social Democratic and Labour Party and Ulster Unionist Party lost all their seats. The Conservatives were narrowly victorious and remained in power as a minority government, having secured a confidence and supply deal with the DUP. Negotiation positions following the UK's invocation of Article 50 of the Treaty on European Union in March 2017 to leave the EU were expected to feature in the campaign, but did not; the campaign was interrupted by two major terrorist attacks in Manchester and London, with national security becoming a prominent issue in the final weeks of campaigning. Each parliamentary constituency of the United Kingdom elects one MP to the House of Commons using the "first past the post" system. If one party obtains a majority of seats that party is entitled to form the Government, with its leader as Prime Minister. If the election results in no single party having a majority, there is a hung parliament. In this case, the options for forming the Government are either a minority government or a coalition.
The Sixth Periodic Review of Westminster constituencies was not due to report until 2018, therefore this general election took place under existing boundaries, enabling direct comparisons with the results by constituency in 2015. To vote in the general election, one had to be: on the Electoral Register. Individuals had to be registered to vote by midnight twelve working days before polling day. Anyone who qualified as an anonymous elector had until midnight on 31 May to register. A person who has two homes may be registered to vote at both addresses, as long as they are not in the same electoral area, but can vote in only one constituency at the general election. On 18 May, The Independent reported that more than 1.1 million people between 18 and 35 had registered to vote since the election was announced on 18 April. Of those, 591,730 were under the age of 25; the Fixed-term Parliaments Act 2011 introduced fixed-term Parliaments to the United Kingdom, with elections scheduled every five years since the general election on 7 May 2015.
This removed the power of the Prime Minister, using the royal prerogative, to dissolve Parliament before its five-year maximum length. The Act permits early dissolution if the House of Commons votes by a supermajority of two-thirds of the entire membership of the House. On 18 April 2017, the Prime Minister Theresa May announced she would seek an election on 8 June, despite ruling out an early election. A House of Commons motion to allow this was passed on 19 April, with 522 votes for and 13 against, a majority of 509; the motion was supported by the Conservatives, the Liberal Democrats and the Greens, while the SNP abstained. Nine
Labour Party (UK)
The Labour Party is a centre-left political party in the United Kingdom, described as an alliance of social democrats, democratic socialists and trade unionists. The party's platform emphasises greater state intervention, social justice and strengthening workers' rights; the Labour Party was founded in 1900, having grown out of the trade union movement and socialist parties of the nineteenth century. It overtook the Liberal Party to become the main opposition to the Conservative Party in the early 1920s, forming two minority governments under Ramsay MacDonald in the 1920s and early 1930s. Labour served in the wartime coalition of 1940-1945, after which Clement Attlee's Labour government established the National Health Service and expanded the welfare state from 1945 to 1951. Under Harold Wilson and James Callaghan, Labour again governed from 1964 to 1970 and 1974 to 1979. In the 1990s Tony Blair took Labour closer to the centre as part of his "New Labour" project, which governed the UK under Blair and Gordon Brown from 1997 to 2010.
After Corbyn took over in 2015, the party has moved leftward. Labour is the Official Opposition in the Parliament of the United Kingdom, having won the second-largest number of seats in the 2017 general election; the Labour Party is the largest party in the Welsh Assembly, forming the main party in the current Welsh government. The party is the third largest in the Scottish Parliament. Labour is a member of the Party of European Socialists and Progressive Alliance, holds observer status in the Socialist International, sits with the Progressive Alliance of Socialists and Democrats in the European Parliament; the party includes semi-autonomous Scottish and Welsh branches and supports the Social Democratic and Labour Party in Northern Ireland. As of 2017, Labour had the largest membership of any party in Western Europe; the Labour Party originated in the late 19th century, meeting the demand for a new political party to represent the interests and needs of the urban working class, a demographic which had increased in number, many of whom only gained suffrage with the passage of the Representation of the People Act 1884.
Some members of the trades union movement became interested in moving into the political field, after further extensions of the voting franchise in 1867 and 1885, the Liberal Party endorsed some trade-union sponsored candidates. The first Lib–Lab candidate to stand was George Odger in the Southwark by-election of 1870. In addition, several small socialist groups had formed around this time, with the intention of linking the movement to political policies. Among these were the Independent Labour Party, the intellectual and middle-class Fabian Society, the Marxist Social Democratic Federation and the Scottish Labour Party. At the 1895 general election, the Independent Labour Party put up 28 candidates but won only 44,325 votes. Keir Hardie, the leader of the party, believed that to obtain success in parliamentary elections, it would be necessary to join with other left-wing groups. Hardie's roots as a lay preacher contributed to an ethos in the party which led to the comment by 1950s General Secretary Morgan Phillips that "Socialism in Britain owed more to Methodism than Marx".
In 1899, a Doncaster member of the Amalgamated Society of Railway Servants, Thomas R. Steels, proposed in his union branch that the Trade Union Congress call a special conference to bring together all left-wing organisations and form them into a single body that would sponsor Parliamentary candidates; the motion was passed at all stages by the TUC, the proposed conference was held at the Memorial Hall on Farringdon Street on 26 and 27 February 1900. The meeting was attended by a broad spectrum of working-class and left-wing organisations—trades unions represented about one third of the membership of the TUC delegates. After a debate, the 129 delegates passed Hardie's motion to establish "a distinct Labour group in Parliament, who shall have their own whips, agree upon their policy, which must embrace a readiness to cooperate with any party which for the time being may be engaged in promoting legislation in the direct interests of labour." This created an association called the Labour Representation Committee, meant to co-ordinate attempts to support MPs sponsored by trade unions and represent the working-class population.
It had no single leader, in the absence of one, the Independent Labour Party nominee Ramsay MacDonald was elected as Secretary. He had the difficult task of keeping the various strands of opinions in the LRC united; the October 1900 "Khaki election" came too soon for the new party to campaign effectively. Only 15 candidatures were sponsored. Support for the LRC was boosted by the 1901 Taff Vale Case, a dispute between strikers and a railway company that ended with the union being ordered to pay £23,000 damages for a strike; the judgement made strikes illegal since employers could recoup the cost of lost business from the unions. The apparent acquiescence of the Conservative Government of Arthur Balfour to industrial and business interests intensified support for the LRC against a government that appeared to have little concern for the industrial proletariat and its problems. In the 1906 election, the LRC won 29 seats—helped by a secret 1903 pact between Ramsay MacDonald and Liberal Chief Whip Herbert Gladstone that aimed to avoid splitting the opposition vote between Labour and Liberal candidates in the interest of removing the Conservatives from office.
In their first meeting after the election the group's Members of Parliament decided to adop
Liberal Democrats (UK)
The Liberal Democrats are a liberal political party in the United Kingdom. They have 11 Members of Parliament in the House of Commons, 96 members of the House of Lords, one member of the European Parliament, five Members of the Scottish Parliament and one member in the Welsh Assembly and London Assembly. At the height of its influence, the party formed a coalition government with the Conservative Party from 2010 to 2015 with its leader Nick Clegg serving as Deputy Prime Minister, it is led by Sir Vince Cable. In 1981, an electoral alliance was established between the Liberal Party, a group, the direct descendent of the 18th-century Whigs, the Social Democratic Party, a splinter group from the Labour Party. In 1988 this alliance was formalised as the Liberal Democrats. Under the leadership of Paddy Ashdown and Charles Kennedy, the party grew during the 1990s and 2000s, focusing its campaigning on specific seats and becoming the third largest party in the House of Commons. Under its leader Nick Clegg, the Liberal Democrats were junior partners in a coalition government headed by Conservative Prime Minister David Cameron, with Clegg serving as Deputy Prime Minister.
The coalition damaged the Liberal Democrats' electoral prospects: the party was reduced from 57 to 8 seats at the 2015 election. Positioned in the centre ground of British politics, the Liberal Democrats are ideologically liberal. Emphasising stronger protections for civil liberties, the party promotes liberal approaches to issues like LGBT rights, education policy, criminal justice. Different factions take different approaches to economic issues; the party is pro-Europeanist, supporting continued UK membership of the European Union and greater European integration. It calls for electoral reform with a transition from the first-past-the-post voting system to one of proportional representation. Other policies have included further environmental protections and drug liberalisation laws, while it has opposed certain UK military engagements like the Iraq War; the party is a member of the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe and Liberal International. The Liberal Democrats are strongest in northern Scotland, southwest London, southwest England, mid-Wales.
The Liberal Democrats were formed on 3 March 1988 by a merger between the Liberal Party and the Social Democratic Party, which had formed a pact nearly seven years earlier as the SDP–Liberal Alliance. The Liberal Party, founded in 1859, were descended from the Whigs and Peelites, while the SDP were a party created in 1981 by former Labour Party members, MPs and cabinet ministers, but gained defections from the Conservative Party. Having declined to third party status after the rise of the Labour Party from 1918 and during the 1920s, the Liberals were challenged for this position in the 1980s when a group of Labour MPs broke away and established the Social Democratic Party; the SDP and the Liberals realised that there was no space for two political parties of the centre and entered into the SDP–Liberal Alliance so that they would not stand against each other in elections. The Alliance was led by Roy Jenkins; the two parties had their own policies and emphases, but produced a joint manifesto for the 1983 and 1987 general elections.
Following disappointing results in the 1987 election, Steel proposed to merge the two parties. Although opposed by Owen, it was supported by a majority of members of both parties, they formally merged in March 1988, with Steel and Robert Maclennan as joint interim leaders; the new party was named Social and Liberal Democrats with the unofficial short form The Democrats being used from September 1988. The name was subsequently changed to Liberal Democrats in October 1989, shortened to Lib Dems; the new party logo, the Bird of Liberty, was adopted in 1989. The minority of the SDP who rejected the merger remained under Owen's leadership in a rump SDP. Michael Meadowcroft joined the Liberal Democrats in 2007 but some of his former followers continue still as the Liberal Party, most notably in a couple of electoral wards of the cities of Liverpool and Peterborough; the then-serving Liberal MP Paddy Ashdown was elected leader in July 1988. At the 1989 European Elections, the party received only 6% of the vote, putting them in fourth place after the Green Party.
They failed to gain a single Member of the European Parliament at this election. Over the next three years, the party recovered under Ashdown's leadership, they performed better at the 1990 local elections and in by-elections—including at Eastbourne in 1990 which saw the first success by a Liberal Democrat standing for parliament. They had further successes in Ribble Valley and Kincardine & Deeside in 1991; the Lib Dems did not reach the share of national votes in the 1990s that the Alliance had achieved in the 1980s. At their first election in 1992, they won 17.8 % of twenty seats. In the 1994 European Elections, the party gained its first two Members of European Parliament. Following the election of Tony Blair as Labour leader in July 1994 after the death of his predecessor John Smith, Ashdown pursued co-operation between the two parties becaus
2015 United Kingdom general election
The 2015 United Kingdom general election was held on 7 May 2015 to elect 650 members to the House of Commons. It was the first general election at the end of a fixed-term Parliament. Local elections took place in most areas on the same day. Polls and commentators had predicted the outcome would be too close to call and would result in a second hung parliament similar to the 2010 election. Opinion polls were proven to have underestimated the Conservative vote as the party unexpectedly won an outright majority, which bore resemblance to its victory at the 1992 general election. Having governed in coalition with the Liberal Democrats since 2010, the Conservatives won 330 seats and 36.9% of the vote, this time winning a working majority of twelve seats. The British Polling Council began an inquiry into the substantial variance between opinion polls and the actual result. Forming the first Conservative majority government since 1992, David Cameron became the first Prime Minister to continue in office after a term of at least four years with a larger popular vote share since 1900, the only Prime Minister other than Margaret Thatcher to continue in office after a term of at least four years with a greater number of seats.
The Labour Party, led by Ed Miliband, saw a small increase in its share of the vote to 30.4%, but incurred a net loss of seats to return 232 MPs. This was its lowest seat tally since the 1987 general election. Senior Labour Shadow Cabinet members, notably Ed Balls, Douglas Alexander, Scottish Labour leader Jim Murphy, were defeated; the Scottish National Party, enjoying a surge in support since the 2014 Scottish independence referendum, recorded a number of huge swings of over 30% from Labour, as it won 56 of the 59 Scottish seats to become the third-largest party in the Commons. The Liberal Democrats, led by outgoing Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg, had their worst result since their formation in 1988, holding just eight out of their previous 57 seats with Cabinet ministers Vince Cable, Ed Davey and Danny Alexander losing their seats. UKIP came third in terms of votes with 12.6%, but only won one seat, with party leader Nigel Farage failing to win the seat of South Thanet. The Green Party won its highest-ever share of the vote with 3.8%, retained the Brighton Pavilion seat with an increased majority, though did not win any additional seats.
Labour's Miliband and Murphy both resigned. Farage said that his resignation was rejected by his party, he remained in post. In Northern Ireland, the Ulster Unionist Party returned to the Commons with two MPs after a five-year absence, while the Alliance Party lost its only seat despite an increase in total vote share; the Conservative majority meant that Cameron was able to fulfil a manifesto commitment to renegotiate British membership of the European Union. That renegotiation was followed by a referendum in June 2016, which resulted in a majority of 51.9% voting to withdraw from the European Union, led to the resignation of Cameron as Prime Minister. The Fixed-term Parliaments Act 2011 led to the dissolution of the 55th Parliament on 30 March 2015 and the scheduling of the election on 7 May, the House of Commons not having voted for an earlier date. There were local elections on the same day in most of England, with the exception of Greater London. No other elections were scheduled to take place in Scotland, Wales or Northern Ireland, apart from any local by-elections.
All British and Commonwealth citizens over the age of 18 on the date of the election were permitted to vote. In general elections, voting takes place in all parliamentary constituencies of the United Kingdom to elect members of parliament to seats in the House of Commons, the dominant house of Parliament; each parliamentary constituency of the United Kingdom elects one MP to the House of Commons using the "first-past-the-post" system. If one party obtains a majority of seats that party is entitled to form the Government. If the election results in no single party having a majority there is a hung parliament. In this case, the options for forming the Government are either a minority government or a coalition government. Although the Conservative Party planned the number of parliamentary seats to be reduced from 650 to 600, through the Sixth Periodic Review of Westminster constituencies under the Parliamentary Voting System and Constituencies Act 2011, the review of constituencies and reduction in seats was delayed by the Electoral Registration and Administration Act 2013 amending the 2011 Act.
The next boundary review is now set to take place in 2018. Of the 650 constituencies, 533 were in England, 59 in Scotland, 40 in Wales and 18 in Northern Ireland. In addition, the 2011 Act mandated a referendum in 2011 on changing from the current "first-past-the-post" system to an alternative vote system for elections to the Commons; the Conservative–Liberal Democrat coalition agreement committed the coalition government to such a referendum. The referendum was resulted in the retention of the existing voting system. Before the previous general election the Liberal Democrats had pledged to change the voting system, the Labour Party pledged to have a referendum about any such change; the Conservatives, promised to keep the first-past-the-post system, but to reduce the number of constituencies by 10%. Liberal Democrat plans were to reduce the number of MPs to 500, for them to be elected using a proportional system. Ministe
House of Commons of the United Kingdom
The House of Commons is the lower house of the Parliament of the United Kingdom. Like the upper house, the House of Lords, it meets in the Palace of Westminster; the full name of the house is the Honourable the Commons of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland in Parliament assembled. Owing to shortage of space, its office accommodation extends into Portcullis House; the Commons is an elected body consisting of 650 members known as Members of Parliament. Members are elected to represent constituencies by the first-past-the-post system and hold their seats until Parliament is dissolved; the House of Commons of England started to evolve in 14th centuries. It became the House of Commons of Great Britain after the political union with Scotland in 1707, assumed the title of "House of Commons of Great Britain and Ireland" after the political union with Ireland at the start of the 19th century; the "United Kingdom" referred to was the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland from 1800, became the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland after the independence of the Irish Free State in 1922.
Accordingly, the House of Commons assumed its current title. Under the Parliament Act 1911, the Lords' power to reject legislation was reduced to a delaying power; the Government is responsible to the House of Commons and the Prime Minister stays in office only as long as she or he retains the confidence of a majority of the Commons. Although it does not formally elect the prime minister, the position of the parties in the House of Commons is of overriding importance. By convention, the prime minister is answerable to, must maintain the support of, the House of Commons. Thus, whenever the office of prime minister falls vacant, the Sovereign appoints the person who has the support of the House, or, most to command the support of the House—normally the leader of the largest party in the Commons, while the leader of the second-largest party becomes the Leader of the Opposition. Since 1963, by convention, the prime minister is always a member of the House of Commons, rather than the House of Lords.
The Commons may indicate its lack of support for the Government by rejecting a motion of confidence or by passing a motion of no confidence. Confidence and no confidence motions are phrased explicitly, for instance: "That this House has no confidence in Her Majesty's Government." Many other motions were until recent decades considered confidence issues though not explicitly phrased as such: in particular, important bills that were part of the Government's agenda. The annual Budget is still considered a matter of confidence; when a Government has lost the confidence of the House of Commons, the prime minister is obliged either to resign, making way for another MP who can command confidence, or to request the monarch to dissolve Parliament, thereby precipitating a general election. Parliament sits for a maximum term of five years. Subject to that limit, the prime minister could choose the timing of the dissolution of parliament, with the permission of the Monarch. However, since the Fixed-Term Parliaments Act 2011, terms are now a fixed five years, an early general election is brought about by a two-thirds majority in favour of a motion for a dissolution, or by a vote of no confidence, not followed within fourteen days by a vote of confidence.
By this second mechanism, the UK's government can change its political composition without an intervening general election. Only four of the eight last Prime Ministers have attained office as the immediate result of a general election; the latter four were Jim Callaghan, John Major, Gordon Brown and the current Prime Minister Theresa May. In such circumstances there may not have been an internal party leadership election, as the new leader may be chosen by acclaim, having no electoral rival. A prime minister will resign after party defeat at an election if unable to lead a coalition, or obtain a confidence and supply arrangement, she or he may resign after a motion of no confidence or for health reasons. In such cases, the premiership goes to, it has become the practice to write the constitution of major UK political parties to provide a set way in which to appoint a new leader. Until 1965, the Conservative Party had no fixed mechanism for this, it fell to the Queen to appoint Harold Macmillan as the new prime minister, after taking the consensus of cabinet ministers.
By convention, ministers are members of the House of House of Lords. A handful have been appointed who were outside Parliament, but in most cases they entered Parliament in a by-election or by receiving a peerage. Exceptions include Peter Mandelson, appointed Secretary of State for Business and Regulatory Reform in October 2008 before his peerage. Since 1902, all prime ministers have been members of the Commons; the new session of Parliament was delayed to await the outcome of his by-election, which happened