Commonly known as the Houses of Parliament, the Palace of Westminster is the meeting place of the House of Commons and the House of Lords, the two houses of the Parliament of the United Kingdom. In total, there's 650 MPs in the UK spread across 11 political parties. The 2015 UK Election on Thursday 7th May saw these seats redistributed, along with several key party leaders and deputies stepping down from their positions. YEN has collated key information and statistics on each of the 11 parties with parliamentary representation, organised by the number of MPs in their party.
Click the links below to jump down to their respective sections
Scottish National Party
Democratic Unionist Party
Social Democratic and Labour Party
Ulster Unionist Party
Green Party of England and Wales
UK Independence Party
Leader: David Cameron
Chairman: Lord Feldman
Preceded by: Tory Party
Headquarters: Conservative Campaign HQ, 4 Matthew Parker Street, London, SW1H 9NP
Members of Parliament: 330
The Conservative Party, officially the Conservative and Unionist Party, is a centre-right political party in the United Kingdom. It currently stands as the majority party in the House of Commons, after winning 331 seats in the 2015 general elections. Before the dissolution of the previous parliament, it was the largest single party with 303 Members of Parliament, and governed under a coalition with the Liberal Democrats. At the time of the May 2015 election, it was the largest party in local government with 8,296 councillors and the largest party in the House of Commons with 331 seats of the possible 650.
The Conservative Party was founded in 1834 from the Tory Party - giving rise to the Conservatives' colloquial name of Tories - and was one of two dominant parties in the 19th century, along with the Liberal Party. In the 1920s, the Liberal vote greatly diminished and the Labour Party became the Conservatives' main rivals. Conservative Prime Ministers led governments for 57 years of the 20th century, including Winston Churchill (1940–45, 1951–55) and Margaret Thatcher(1979–90). Thatcher's tenure led to wide-ranging economic liberalisation and saw the Conservatives become the most eurosceptic of the three major parties. The party was returned to government in coalition in 2010 under the more liberal leadership of David Cameron. The Conservative Party then went on to get re-elected to Government, but this time with a majority, at the 2015 General Election, putting them in a much stronger position than they were before in a coalition government, as they no longer need to rely on the support of the Liberal Democrats to get every piece of legislation passed
As of 2014, the Conservatives are the joint-second largest British party in the European Parliament, with 20 MEPs, who sit with the soft eurosceptic European Conservatives and Reformists (ECR) parliamentary group. The party is a member of the Alliance of European Conservatives and Reformists (AECR) Europarty and the International Democrat Union (IDU).
The party is the third-largest in the Scottish Parliament and second-largest in the Welsh Assembly. They had been formally allied to the Ulster Unionist Party (UUP) as part of the Ulster Conservatives and Unionists arrangement; this electoral pact formally ended with the Northern Ireland Party's relaunch as the NI Conservatives in June 2012, allowing for autonomy on devolved matters, similar to the Welsh Conservatives and the Scottish Conservatives.
Conservative Party Leader and Prime Minister: David Cameron
David William Donald Cameron (born 9 October 1966) is a British politician who has served as the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom since 2010 and as the Member of Parliament (MP) for Witney since 2001. He has been Leader of the Conservative Party since 2005. Cameron studied Philosophy, Politics and Economics (PPE) at Brasenose College, Oxford. He then joined the Conservative Research Department and became special adviser, first to Norman Lamont and then to Michael Howard. He was Director of Corporate Affairs at Carlton Communications for seven years. Cameron first stood for Parliament in Stafford in 1997.
He ran on a Eurosceptic platform, breaking with his party's then-policy by opposing British membership of the single European currency, and was defeated by a swing close to the national average. He was first elected to Parliament in the 2001 general election for the Oxfordshire constituency of Witney. He was promoted to the Opposition front bench two years later and rose rapidly to become head of policy co-ordination during the 2005 general election campaign. With a public image of a youthful, moderate candidate who would appeal to young voters, he won the Conservative leadership election in 2005.
Leader: Jeremy Corbyn
Deputy Leader: Tom Watson
Founded: 27th February 1900
Headquarters: Labour Central, Kings Manor, Newcastle upon Tyne, NE1 6PA
Members of Parliament: 232
The Labour Party is a centre-left political party in the United Kingdom. It grew out of the trade union movement and socialist political parties of the nineteenth century and has been described as a broad church; the party contains a diversity of ideological trends from strongly socialist, to more moderately social democratic.
Founded in 1900, the Labour Party overtook the Liberal Party in general elections during the early 1920s and formed minority governments under Ramsay MacDonald in 1924 and 1929–31. The party was in a wartime coalition from 1940 to 1945, after which it formed a majority government under Clement Attlee. Labour was also in government from 1964 to 1970 under Harold Wilson and from 1974 to 1979, first under Wilson and then James Callaghan.
The Labour Party was last in national government between 1997 and 2010 under Tony Blair and Gordon Brown, beginning with a landslide majority of 179, reduced to 167 in 2001 and 66 in 2005. Having won 258 seats in the 2010 general election and 232 seats in 2015, the party currently forms the Official Opposition in the Parliament of the United Kingdom. Labour has a minority government in the Welsh Assembly, is the main opposition party in the Scottish Parliament and has 20 MEPs in the European Parliament, sitting in the Socialists and Democrats group. The Labour Party is a full member of the Party of European Socialists and Progressive Alliance, and continues to hold observer status in the Socialist International.
Labour Party Leader: Jeremy Corbyn
The Rt Hon Jeremy Corbyn MP is current leader of Her Majesties Official Opposition, a position he has held since 12 September 2015.
Born in Chippenham in Wiltshire, on 26 May 1949, Corbyn attended Adams' Grammar School and later North London Polytechnic without attaining a degree. Before entering politics, he worked as a representative for various trade unions. His political career began when he was elected to Haringey Council in 1974 and later was secretary of the Islington Constituency Labour Party (CLP). He continued in both roles until he entered the House of Commons as Member of Parliament for Islington North in 1983.
Corbyn has received awards for his work as an international human rights campaigner. As an MP he is known for his activism and rebelliousness, frequently voting against the Labour whip when the party was in government under New Labour leaders Tony Blair and Gordon Brown. Corbyn advocates an anti-austerity platform of reversing austerity cuts to public sector and welfare funding made since 2010, proposing preventing tax evasion and avoidance by corporations and wealthy individuals, reducing corporate subsidies, and pursuing an invest-to-grow economic strategy as an alternative. He proposes renationalisation of public utilities and the railways, abolishing 8university tuition fees, and financing "Peoples' Quantitative Easing" to fund infrastructure and renewable energy projects. A longstanding anti-war and anti-nuclear activist, Corbyn supports a foreign policy of military non-interventionism and a unilateral policy of nuclear disarmament. Corbyn is a member of the Socialist Campaign Group, the Palestine Solidarity Campaign, Amnesty International and the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament (CND). He was the national chair of the Stop the War Coalition from June 2011 until September 2015.
Leader: Nicola Sturgeon
Deputy Leader: Stewart Hosie
Westminister Group Leader: Angys Robertson
Founded: 7th April 1934
Headquarters: Gordon Lamb House, 3 Jackson's Entry, Edinburgh EH3 8PJ
Members of Parliament: 56
The Scottish National Party (SNP) is a Scottish nationalist and social-democratic political party in Scotland. The SNP supports and campaigns for Scottish independence. It is the third-largest political party by membership in the United Kingdom, as well as by overall representation in the House of Commons, behind the Labour Party and the Conservative Party, and is the largest party by far in Scotland itself, where it dominates both the national government and the country's parliamentary delegation to Westminster. Its leader, Nicola Sturgeon, is the current First Minister of Scotland.
Founded in 1934 with the merger of the National Party of Scotland and the Scottish Party, the party has had continuous parliamentary representation since Winnie Ewing won the 1967 Hamilton by-election. With the advent of the Scottish Parliament in 1999, the SNP became the second largest party, serving two terms as the opposition. The SNP came to power in the 2007 Scottish general election, forming a minority government, before going on to win the 2011 election, after which it formed Scotland's first majority government.
As of 2015, the SNP is the largest political party in Scotland in terms of membership, MSPs, MPs and local councillors, with over 115,000 members, 56 MPs, 64in total 2% of the Scottish gross population. The SNP also currently has 2 MEPs in the European Parliament, who sit in The Greens/European Free Alliance (Greens/EFA) group. The SNP is a member of the European Free Alliance (EFA).
Scottish National Party Leader: Nicola Ferguson Sturgeon
Nicola Ferguson Sturgeon (born 19 July 1970) is the fifth and current First Minister of Scotland and the Leader of the Scottish National Party, in office since 2014. She is the first woman to hold either position. Sturgeon represents Glasgow Southside as its MSP.
A law graduate of the University of Glasgow, Sturgeon worked as a solicitor in Glasgow. She was first elected to the Scottish Parliament in 1999, and served successively as the SNP's shadow minister for education, health and justice. In 2004, she announced that she would stand as a candidate for the leadership of the SNP following the resignation of John Swinney. However, she later withdrew from the contest in favour of Alex Salmond, standing instead as depute (deputy) leader on a joint ticket with Salmond.
Leader: Tim Farron
Deputy Leader: Vacant
President: Baroness Sal Brinton
Founded: 3rd March 1988
Headquarters: 8-10 Great George Street, London, SW1P 3AE
Members of Parliament: 8
The Liberal Democrats (often referred to as the Lib Dems) are a social liberal political party in the United Kingdom. The Liberal Democrats were formed in 1988 by a merger of the Liberal Party and the Social Democratic Party (SDP). The two parties had formed the electoral SDP–Liberal Alliance for seven years prior. The Liberal Party had been in existence for 129 years and in power under leaders such as Gladstone, Asquith and Lloyd George. Liberal Reforms led to the creation of the British welfare state. In the 1920s, the Labour Party replaced the Liberals as the largest opponent of the Conservative Party. The SDP split from Labour in 1981 because of the latter's move to the left.
Nick Clegg was elected leader in 2007. At the 2010 general election, the Liberal Democrats won 57 seats, making them the third-largest party in the House of Commons behind the Conservatives with 307 and Labour with 258. No party having an overall majority, the Liberal Democrats joined a coalition government with the Conservative Party, with Clegg becoming Deputy Prime Minister and other Liberal Democrats taking up ministerial positions. At the 2015 general election, the party was reduced to eight Members of Parliament and Clegg resigned as leader.
Liberal Democrats Party Leader: Tim Farron
The Rt Hon Timothy James Farron MP is the current leader of the Liberal Democrats, a position he has held since 16 July 2015.
Born in Preston, Lancashire, on 27 May 1970. He was elected Member of Parliament for Westmorland and Lonsdale on 5 May 2005 and was President of the Liberal Democrats from 2011 to 2015.
Leader: Peter Robinson
Deputy Leader and Westminster Leader: Nigel Dodds
Chairman: Lord Morrow
Founded: 30th September 1971
Headquarters: 91 Dundela Avenue, Belfast, County Antrim
Members of Parliament: 8
The Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) is the larger of the two main unionist political parties in Northern Ireland. Founded by Ian Paisley and now led by Peter Robinson, it is the largest party in the Northern Ireland Assembly and the joint fourth-largest party in the House of Commons of the United Kingdom. The DUP has historically strong links to Protestant churches, particularly the Free Presbyterian Church of Ulster, the church Paisley founded. However, this influence has reduced under the Robinson leadership in an attempt to reach out to non-Protestants, particularly socially conservative Catholics.
Following on from the St Andrews Agreement in October 2006, the DUP agreed with the Irish republican party Sinn Féin to enter into power-sharing devolved government in Northern Ireland. In the aftermath of the agreement there were reports of divisions within the DUP. Many of its leading members, including Members of Parliament (MPs) Nigel Dodds, David Simpson and Gregory Campbell, were claimed to be in opposition to Paisley.
All the party's MPs fully signed up to the manifesto for the 2007 Assembly elections, supporting power-sharing in principle. An overwhelming majority of the party executive voted in favour of restoring devolution in a meeting in March 2007; however, the DUP's sole Member of the European Parliament (MEP), Jim Allister, and seven DUP councillors later resigned from the party in opposition to its plans to share power with Sinn Féin. They founded the Traditional Unionist Voice in December 2007.
The DUP is the largest party in Northern Ireland, holding eight seats at Westminster and 38 seats in the Northern Ireland Assembly. It has one seat in the European Parliament, where its MEP, Diane Dodds, sits as a Non-Inscrit.
Democratic Unionist Party Leader: Peter David Robinson
Peter David Robinson (born 29 December 1948) is a Northern Irish politician who has been the First Minister of Northern Ireland and leader of the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) since 2008. He has been actively involved in politics since 1970 when he became a founding member of the DUP along with Ian Paisley.
Robinson served as Paisley's Parliamentary Assistant at Westminster prior to assuming the role of General Secretary of the DUP in 1975, a position which he held until 1979 and which afforded him the opportunity to exert unprecedented influence within the fledgling Ulster loyalist party. In 1977, Robinson was elected as a councillor for the Castlereagh Borough Council in Dundonald, and in 1979, he became the youngest-serving Member of Parliament (MP) when he was narrowly elected for Belfast East. He held this seat until his defeat by Naomi Long in 2010, making him the longest-serving Belfast MP since the 1800 Act of Union.
In 1980, Robinson was elected as the deputy leader of the DUP. In 1986, he helped establish Ulster Resistance, a loyalist paramilitary group. Following the re-establishment of devolved government in Northern Ireland as a result of the Good Friday Agreement, Robinson was elected in 1998 as the Member of the Legislative Assembly (MLA) for Belfast East. Robinson subsequently served as Minister for Regional Development and Minister for Finance and Personnel in the Northern Ireland Executive. Robinson was elected unopposed to succeed Ian Paisley as leader of the DUP on 15 April 2008, and was subsequently confirmed as First Minister of Northern Ireland on 5 June 2008.
Secretary-General: Dawn Doyle
Founder: Arthur Griffith
President: Gerry Adams
Assembly Group Leader: Raymon McCartney
Founded: 28th November 1905 (Original) and 1970 (Current)
Headquarters: Parnell Square West, Dublin, Ireland
Members of Parliament: 4
Sinn Féin is an Irish republican political party active in both the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland. The name is Irish for "ourselves" or "we ourselves", although it is frequently mistranslated as "ourselves alone". Originating in the Sinn Féin organisation founded in 1905 by Arthur Griffith, it took its current form in 1970 after a split within the party (the other party is the Workers' Party of Ireland), and has been associated with the Provisional Irish Republican Army. Gerry Adams has been party president since 1983.
Sinn Féin is currently the second-largest party in the Northern Ireland Assembly, where it has four ministerial posts in the power-sharing Northern Ireland Executive, and the fourth-largest party in the Oireachtas, the parliament of the Republic. Sinn Féin also received the second highest number of Northern Ireland votes and seats in the 2015 United Kingdom general election.
Sinn Féin Party Leader and President: Gerard Adams
Gerard "Gerry" Adams (Irish: Gearóid Mac Ádhaimh;born 6 October 1948) is an Irish republican politician, president of the Sinn Féin political party, and a Teachta Dála (Member of Parliament) for Louth since the 2011 general election. From 1983 to 1992 and from 1997 to 2011, he was an abstentionist Westminster Member of Parliament (MP) for Belfast West.
He has been the president of Sinn Féin since 1983. Since that time the party has become the fourth-largest party in the Republic of Ireland, the second-largest political party in Northern Ireland and the largest Irish nationalist party in that region. In 1984, Adams was seriously wounded in an assassination attempt by several gunmen from the Ulster Defence Association (UDA) including John Gregg. From the late 1980s onwards, Adams was an important figure in the Northern Ireland peace process, initially following contact by the then-Social Democratic and Labour Party (SDLP) leader John Hume and then subsequently with the Irish and British governments.
Leader: Leanne Wood
Chief Executive: Rhuanedd Richards
Honorary President: Dafyyd Wigley
Chairman: Lord Morrow
Founded: 5th August 1925
Headquarters: Tŷ Gwynfor, Marine Chambers, Anson Court, Atlantic Wharf Cardiff, CF10 4AL
Members of Parliament: 3
Plaid Cymru (Welsh pronunciation: [plaɪd ˈkəmrɨ]; English pronunciation officially Plaid Cymru – the Party of Wales, often referred to simply as Plaid) is a political party in Wales advocating an independent Wales within the European Union.
Plaid Cymru was formed in 1925 and won its first seat in 1966. Plaid Cymru by 2012 had 1 of 4 Welsh seats in the European Parliament, 3 of 40 Welsh seats in the Parliament of the United Kingdom, 11 of 60 seats in the National Assembly for Wales, and 206 of 1,264 principal local authority councillors. Plaid is a member of the European Free Alliance.
Plaid Cymru Party Leader: Leanne Wood
Leanne Wood AM (born 13 December 1971) is a Welsh politician and the leader of Plaid Cymru. Born in the Rhondda, Wales, she has represented the South Wales Central region as a Member of the National Assembly for Wales since 2003.
She was elected leader of Plaid Cymru on 15 March 2012. Wood, a socialist, republican and a proponent for Welsh independence, is the first female leader of Plaid Cymru and the first party leader to be a Welsh learner rather than a native speaker of the Welsh language.
Leader: Dr Alasdair McDonnell
Chairman: John Clayton
Founded: 30th September 1970
Headquarters: 121 Ormeau Road, Belfast, BT7 1SH, County Antrim
Members of Parliament: 3
The Social Democratic and Labour Party (SDLP) is a social-democratic and Irish nationalist political party in Northern Ireland. The SDLP currently has three MPs in the House of Commons, and 14MLAs in the Northern Ireland Assembly.
The SDLP party platform advocates Irish unification, and the further devolution of powers while Northern Ireland remains part of the United Kingdom. During the Troubles, the SDLP was the most popular Irish nationalist party in Northern Ireland, but since the Provisional IRA ceasefire in 1994 it has lost ground to the left-wing republican party Sinn Féin, which in 2001 became the more popular of the two parties for the first time.
Established during the Troubles, a significant difference between the two parties was the SDLP's rejection of violence, in contrast to Sinn Féin's support for the Provisional IRA and physical force republicanism. The SDLP has fraternal links with other European social-democratic parties, including the Irish Labour Party and British Labour Party (neither of which contest elections in Northern Ireland), and is affiliated to the Socialist International and Party of European Socialists.
Social Democratic and Labour Party Leader: Dr Alasdair McDonnell
Dr Alasdair McDonnell (born 1 September 1949) is an Irish politician who has been the Leader of the Social Democratic and Labour Party (SDLP) since 2011, and the Member of Parliament and Member of the Legislative Assembly of Northern Ireland for South Belfast since 2005 and 1998 respectively.
McDonnell's first involvement with politics came when he joined the National Democrats and stood as the party candidate in the 1970 election in North Antrim and lost to Ian Paisley. McDonnell first won election to Belfast City Council in 1977, representing Belfast 'Area A' which included the Short Strand and Upper Ormeau areas. He lost his council seat in a surprise result in 1981 but returned in 1985 and served as the first Catholic Deputy Mayor of Belfast in 1995-1996.
He first stood for the Westminster constituency of South Belfast in the 1979 general election and subsequently contested the constituency at each subsequent general election, though not in the 1986 by-election (caused by the resignation of Unionist MPs in protest at the Anglo Irish Agreement). He was also elected from the constituency to the Northern Ireland Peace Forum in 1996 and the Northern Ireland Assembly in 1998 and 2003.
Leader: Mike Nesbitt
Chairman: The Lord Empey
Founded: 3rd March 1905
Headquarters: Strandtown Hall, 1-4 Belmont Road, Belfast, BT4 2AN
Members of Parliament: 2
The Ulster Unionist Party (UUP) – sometimes referred to as the Official Unionist Party (OUP) or, in a historic sense, simply the Unionist Party – is the older of the two main unionist political parties in Northern Ireland. Before the split in unionism in the late 1960s, when the former Protestant Unionist Party began to attract hardline Ulster loyalist support away from the UUP, it governed Northern Ireland between 1921 and 1972 as the sole major unionist party. It continued to be supported by most unionist voters throughout the conflict known as the Troubles.
The UUP has lost support among Northern Ireland's unionists to the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) in successive elections at all levels of government since 1999. The party is currently led by Mike Nesbitt.
In 2009, the party agreed to an electoral alliance with the Conservative Party and the two parties fielded joint candidates for elections to the House of Commons and the European Parliament under the banner of "Ulster Conservatives and Unionists – New Force" (UCUNF). Literature and the website for the 2009 European Parliament election used "Conservatives and Unionists" as the short name.
The party held its European seat but lost all its Westminster seats when their sole MP left the party in protest at the alliance and ran as an Independent. In the 2015 general election, the party won two seats in the Commons, one of which was gained after having agreed with the DUP not to split the unionist vote in certain marginal seats. That seat was Fermanagh and South Tyrone and the other gained seat from the DUP was South Antrim.
Ulster Unionist Party Leader: Michael Nesbitt
Michael "Mike" Nesbitt (born 11 May 1957) is a British politician and former broadcaster. who has been the Leader of the Ulster Unionist Party since 2012 and the Member of the Northern Ireland Assembly for Strangford since 2011.
Mike Nesbitt was elected as UUP party leader on 31 March 2012. He defeated South Down assembly member John McCallister with a final vote tally of 536 votes to 129. Nesbitt said he wanted the UUP to become "the party of choice for every pro-union voter in Northern Ireland".
In April 2012, Nesbitt announced that he wanted to make history by being the first leader of his party to attend a Sinn Fein ard fheis. He said: "We should be going to all the conferences of the main parties, not just the Conservatives, Labour and Liberal Democrats."
Leader: Natalie Bennett
Deputy Leaders: Amelia Womach and Dr Shahrar Ali
Headquarters: Development House, 56-64 Leonard Street, London, EC2A 4LT
Members of Parliament: 1
The Green Party of England and Wales (GPEW; Welsh: Plaid Werdd Cymru a Lloegr) is a left-wing, environmentalist political party in England and Wales.
It is the largest Green party in the United Kingdom and contains various regional divisions, including the semi-autonomous Wales Green Party. The party has one Member of Parliament in the House of Commons, Caroline Lucas, who represents the constituency of Brighton Pavilion. Lucas was the party's first leader, serving from 2008 until 2012, when she was succeeded by Natalie Bennett. The Green Party also has one life peer, three Members of the European Parliament, two members of the London Assembly, and a small number of councillors on various local councils in England and Wales.
The Green Party of England and Wales was created in 1990 when the former Green Party split into separate parties: Scottish Green Party, Green Party in Northern Ireland, and England and Wales. The party is affiliated to the Global Greens and the European Green Party.
It has often been viewed as a "single issue" environmentalist party, but while it still maintains its environmental policies and political ecology, it also has a history of support for communitarian economic policies, including well-funded, locally controlled public services within the confines of a steady state economy, and it supports proportional representation. It also takes a progressive approach to social policies such as civil liberties, animal rights, LGBTIQ rights and drug policy reform, and believes strongly in nonviolence, basic material security, and democratic participation.
Green Party of England and Wales Leader: Natalie Louise Bennett
Natalie Louise Bennett (born 10 February 1966) is a British politician and journalist who has led the Green Party of England and Wales since September 2012. Born and raised in Australia, she began her career as a journalist with regional newspapers in New South Wales before leaving in 1995 for Thailand, where she worked for Australian Volunteers International and the Bangkok Post newspaper over the next four years. Since settling in Britain in 1999 she has contributed to the Guardian, Independent and Times newspapers. Her election as leader of the Greens came six years after she joined the party in January 2006.
Natalie Bennett joined the Green Party on 1 January 2006. Later the same year she stood for the Greens in the Camden Council election in the Regent's Park ward and again in the Camden Council election of 2010 in the Somers Town ward, but was not elected on either occasion. She was the internal communications coordinator on the national executive of the party from September 2007 to August 2011.
Leader: Nigel Farage
Deputy Leader: Paul Nuttall
Chairman: Steven Crowther
Founded: 3rd September 1993
Headquarters: Development House, 56-64 Leonard Street, London, EC2A 4LT
Members of Parliament: 1
The UK Independence Party (UKIP) is a Eurosceptic and right-wing populist political party in the United Kingdom. It was founded in 1993 by members of the Anti-Federalist League with the primary objective of securing the United Kingdom's withdrawal from the European Union. The party describes itself as a "democratic, libertarian party".
The party is led by Nigel Farage after the NEC rejected his resignation on 8 May 2015 following the 2015 general election. UKIP has one Member of Parliament (Douglas Carswell), three representatives in the House of Lords and twenty-three Members of the European Parliament, making it the largest UK party in the European Parliament. In October 2014, UKIP reported a membership of over 40,000.
The party made its first significant breakthroughs in the 2013 local elections, when it came fourth in the number of council seats won and third in nationwide vote share, and in the 2014 European elections when UKIP received the most votes, the first time for over a century that a party other than Labour or the Conservatives won a United Kingdom-wide election. At the 2015 general election, the party received 3.8 million votes, surpassing the Liberal Democrats' vote as the third largest share, but won only one seat in Parliament.
UK Independence Party Leader: Nigel Farage
Nigel Paul Farage (born 3 April 1964) is a British politician and former commodity broker. He is the leader of the UK Independence Party (UKIP), having held the position since November 2010, and previously from September 2006 to November 2009. Since 1999 he has been a Member of the European Parliament for South East England.
Farage was a founding member of UKIP, having left the Conservative Party in 1992 after the signing of the Maastricht Treaty. In the 2014 European Election, Farage was re-elected again and led UKIP to its first victory in a nationwide UK election - the first for a party other than the Conservatives or Labour since the 1906 general election.
In September 2006, Farage became the UKIP Leader and led the party through the 2009 European Parliament Election when it won the second-highest share of the popular vote, defeating Labour and the Liberal Democrats with over two million votes. In August 2014, Farage was selected to contest the South Thanet seat in Kent at the 2015 general election, however he lost. Later on the same day, Farage resigned as the UKIP party leader as a direct result of not winning the seat in the South Thanet constituency. On 11 May, it was announced that the resignation had been rejected and that he would remain leader of the party.
Founders: Richard Carter and Stewart Arnold
Lead Candidate: Stewart Arnold
Members of Parliament: 0
Yorkshire First is a regionalist political party in Yorkshire, a historic county of England. Launched by Richard Carter and Stewart Arnold ahead of the 2014 European Parliament election, it campaigns for the establishment of a Yorkshire Parliament within the UK, similar to the Scottish Parliament or National Assembly of Wales. Yorkshire First faced its first electoral test when it stood three candidates in Yorkshire and the Humber in the 2014 European elections. The party's launch was welcomed by a spokesperson for Mebyon Kernow. During the campaign, the party complained about BBC and Ofcom rules which precluded it from having an election broadcast. It came 8th of 10 parties with 19,017 votes (1.47%),which the party's lead candidate, Stewart Arnold, described as "a hugely significant result".
The party launched its manifesto in February 2015 with calls for a directly-elected parliament for Yorkshire, a Yorkshire Futures Fund to drive sustainable growth, a new "Made in Yorkshire" label and a public holiday for the region on 1st August, Yorkshire Day. The party's 2015 election slogan is "A voice for the region". Many candidates entered this as the 'description' for their ballot paper, with the party's name instead appearing as its emblem on the ballot paper. The party is standing in 14 different constituencies on 7th May.
Richard Carter (Leader)
Party leader, Richard Carter, founded Yorkshire First shortly before the 2014 EU elections.
"In May 2014, 19,017 people gave us their votes in the EU elections, and breathed life into Yorkshire First. Our aim is to give people a positive choice for change, and an opportunity to say it’s time for Yorkshire. For too long have we been trying to fight as a region with our hands tied behind our backs. Given the voice and the powers our great region will help us to build a future Yorkshire where all who are born here, or have chosen to live, play or work here, are proud to call themselves Yorkshire folk."
Stewart Arnold (Deputy Leader)
Local businessman, Stewart Arnold, has lived in the East Riding (in Swanland) for the past 25 years. He helped found Yorkshire First and is the party’s Deputy Leader.