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In the United Kingdom, a Member of Parliament (MP) is an individual elected to serve in the House of Commons of the Parliament of the United Kingdom.
All 650 members of the UK Parliament are elected using the first-past-the-post voting system in single member constituencies across the whole of the United Kingdom, where each constituency has its own single representative.
All MP positions become simultaneously vacant for elections held on a five-year cycle. The Fixed-term Parliaments Act 2011 sets out that ordinary general elections are held on the first Thursday in May, every five years.However, with approval from Parliament, both the 2017 and 2019 general elections were held earlier than the schedule set by the Act.
If a vacancy arises at another time, due to death or resignation, then a constituency vacancy may be filled by a by-election. Under the Representation of the People Act 1981 any MP sentenced to over a year in jail automatically vacates their seat. For certain types of lesser acts of wrongdoing the Recall of MPs Act 2015 mandates that a recall petition be opened; if signed by more than 10% of registered voters within the constituency the seat is vacated.
In the past only male adult property-owners could stand for Parliament. In 1918 women acquired the right to stand for Parliament, and to vote.
To be eligible to stand as an MP a person must be at least 18 years old and be a citizen of the UK, a Commonwealth nation, or Ireland. A person is not required to be registered to vote, nor are there any restrictions regarding where a candidate is resident.
The House of Commons Disqualification Act 1975 outlaws the holders of various positions from being MPs. These include civil servants, police officers, members of the armed forces, and judges. Members of the House of Lords are not permitted to hold Commons seats. Members of legislatures outside of the Commonwealth are excluded,with the exemption of the Irish legislature. Additionally, members of the Senedd (Welsh Parliament) or the Northern Ireland Assembly are also ineligible for the Commons according to the Wales and Northern Ireland (Miscellaneous Provisions) Acts respectively, passed in 2014.
People who are bankrupt cannot stand to be MPs.The Representation of the People Act 1981 excludes persons who are currently serving a prison sentence of a year or more.
Members of Parliament are entitled to use the post nominal title MP. MPs are only referred to as "honourable" as a courtesy during debates in the House of Commons or if they are the child of a peer. Those who are members of the Privy Council use the form The Right Honourable (The Rt Hon. or Rt Hon.) Name MP.
The first duty of a member of Parliament is to do what they think in their faithful and disinterested judgement is right and necessary for the honour and safety of Great Britain. The second duty is to their constituents, of whom they are the representative but not the delegate. Burke's famous declaration on this subject is well known. It is only in the third place that their duty to party organisation or programme takes rank. All these three loyalties should be observed, but there is no doubt of the order in which they stand under any healthy manifestation of democracy.— Winston Churchill, Duties of a Member of Parliament (c.1954–1955)
Theoretically, contemporary MPs are considered to have two duties, or three if they belong to a political party. Their primary responsibility is to act in the national interest. They must also act in the interests of their constituents where this does not override their primary responsibility. Finally, if they belong to a political party, they may act in the interests of that party, subordinate to the other two responsibilities.
The House of Commons is the lower house and de facto primary chamber of the Parliament of the United Kingdom. Like the upper house, the House of Lords, it meets in the Palace of Westminster.
The Parliament of the United Kingdom is the supreme legislative body of the United Kingdom, the Crown dependencies and the British overseas territories. It alone possesses legislative supremacy and thereby ultimate power over all other political bodies in the UK and the overseas territories. Parliament is bicameral but has three parts, consisting of the sovereign (Crown-in-Parliament), the House of Lords, and the House of Commons. Both houses of Parliament meet in separate chambers at the Palace of Westminster in the City of Westminster, one of the inner boroughs of the capital city, London.
The United Kingdom is a unitary state with devolution that is governed within the framework of a parliamentary democracy under a constitutional monarchy in which the monarch, currently Queen Elizabeth II, is the head of state while the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, currently Boris Johnson, is the head of government. Executive power is exercised by the British government, on behalf of and by the consent of the monarch, and the devolved governments of Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. Legislative power is vested in the two chambers of the Parliament of the United Kingdom, the House of Commons and the House of Lords, as well as in the Scottish and Welsh parliaments and the Northern Ireland Assembly. The judiciary is independent of the executive and the legislature. The highest court is the Supreme Court of the United Kingdom.
The legislatures of the United Kingdom are derived from a number of different sources. The parliament of the United Kingdom is the supreme legislative body for the United Kingdom and the British overseas territories with Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland each having their own devolved legislatures. Each of the three major jurisdictions of the United Kingdom has its own laws and legal system.
A member of parliament (MP) is the representative of the people who live in their constituency. In many countries with bicameral parliaments, this term implies members of the lower house, as upper houses often have a different title. Member of Congress or Deputy is an equivalent term in other jurisdictions. Parliamentarian is also sometimes used to describe members of parliament, but the term may also be used to refer to unelected government officials with specific roles in the parliament, such as the Senate Parliamentarian in the United States, or to imply the characteristic of performing the duties of a member of a legislature, e.g. "The two party leaders often disagreed on issues, but both were excellent parliamentarians and cooperated to get many good things done."
The West Lothian question, also known as the English question, is a political issue in the United Kingdom. It concerns the question of whether MPs from Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales who sit in the House of Commons should be able to vote on matters that affect only England, while MPs from England are unable to vote on matters that have been devolved to the Northern Ireland Assembly, the Scottish Parliament and the Senedd. The term West Lothian question was coined by Enoch Powell MP in 1977 after Tam Dalyell, the Labour MP for the Scottish constituency of West Lothian, raised the matter repeatedly in House of Commons debates on devolution.
Members of Parliament (MPs) sitting in the House of Commons in the United Kingdom are not permitted to resign their seats. To circumvent this prohibition, MPs who wish to step down are instead appointed to an "office of profit under the Crown," which disqualifies them from sitting in Parliament. For this purpose, a legal fiction is maintained where two unpaid offices are considered to be offices of profit: Steward and Bailiff of the Chiltern Hundreds, and Steward and Bailiff of the Manor of Northstead. Although the House of Commons Disqualification Act 1975 lists hundreds of offices that are disqualifying, no MP has lost their seat by being appointed to an actual office since 1981, when Thomas Williams became a judge.
The boundary commissions in the United Kingdom are non-departmental public bodies responsible for determining the boundaries of constituencies for elections to the House of Commons. There are four separate boundary commissions:
The House of Commons Disqualification Act 1975 is an Act of the Parliament of the United Kingdom that prohibits certain categories of people from becoming members of the House of Commons. It was an updated version of similar older acts, including the House of Commons Disqualification Act 1957.
Armagh or County Armagh was a parliamentary constituency in the House of Commons. It was replaced in boundary changes in 1983.
In the United Kingdom (UK), each of the electoral areas or divisions called constituencies elects one member to the House of Commons.
A Member of the Legislative Assembly (MLA), is a representative elected by the voters of a constituency to a legislative assembly. Most often the term refers to a subnational assembly such as that of a state, province, or territory of a country, but in a few instances it refers to a national legislature.
South Fermanagh was a UK Parliament constituency in Ireland.
Shankill, a division of Belfast, was a UK parliamentary constituency in Northern Ireland. It returned one Member of Parliament (MP) to the House of Commons of the United Kingdom from 1918 to 1922, using the first past the post electoral system.
Victoria, a division of Belfast, was a UK parliamentary constituency in Ireland. It returned one Member of Parliament (MP) to the House of Commons of the United Kingdom from 1918 to 1922, using the first past the post electoral system.
The Senedd constituencies and electoral regions are the electoral districts used to elect Members of the Senedd to the Senedd, and have been used in some form since the first election of the then National Assembly for Wales in 1999. New boundaries were introduced for the 2007 elections and currently consist of fourty constituencies and five regions. The five electoral regions are: Mid and West Wales, North Wales, South Wales Central, South Wales East, and South Wales West, with the fourty constituencies listed below. Voting last took place in all districts in the 2021 Senedd election, and are not used for local government.
There are four types of elections in Wales: elections to the House of Commons of the United Kingdom, elections to the devolved Senedd, local elections to the 22 principal areas, and the Police and Crime Commissioner elections, in addition to by-elections for each aforementioned election. Elections are held on Election Day, which is conventionally a Thursday. Since the passing of the Fixed-term Parliaments Act 2011 for general elections, all four types of elections are held after fixed periods, though early elections to the UK parliament can occur in certain situations, with devolved elections being postponed to avoid elections to the UK parliament and Senedd coinciding with each other. The three electoral systems used for elections in Wales are: first-past-the-post, the additional member system and the supplementary vote.
There are five types of elections in the United Kingdom: elections to the House of Commons of the United Kingdom, elections to devolved parliaments and assemblies, local elections, mayoral elections and Police and Crime Commissioner elections. Within each of those categories, there may also be by-elections. Elections are held on Election Day, which is conventionally a Thursday. Since the passing of the Fixed-term Parliaments Act 2011 for general elections, all five types of elections are held after fixed periods, though early elections to parliament and the devolved assemblies and parliaments can occur in certain situations. The five electoral systems used are: the single member plurality system (first-past-the-post), the multi-member plurality system, the single transferable vote, the additional member system and the supplementary vote.
The Belfast West by-election, 2011 was a by-election for the United Kingdom constituency of Belfast West following the resignation of the constituency's Member of Parliament, Gerry Adams in advance of his candidacy in the 2011 general election in the Republic of Ireland. A writ for a by-election was moved in the House of Commons on 16 May 2011, and the vote took place on 9 June 2011.