Politics of the United Kingdom


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Headline election results: with or without Speaker?

I've been having a look at the general election pages, and one oddity I've noted is that we have two different ways of counting the Speaker in the infobox/text/results table (thankfully none seem to have an actual disagreement...)

Between 1997 and 2019, the Speaker is counted separately from the party totals - eg in 2017, the Conservatives have 317 seats not including Bercow. In most cases there is a footnote in the infobox saying so. 1992 had no speaker standing for re-election, and then in 1987 we find the Conservative total given as 336 which appears to be including Weatherill - there is no distinct line for him. This approach seems to be the case in all prior elections as well, plus it is the one used at United Kingdom general elections overview - so the summary table there differs from the election articles.

I'm not really sure what the best approach here is, but either way it feels like the 1990s is a bit of an odd cut-off to switch from one approach to the other. Andrew Gray (talk) 15:48, 24 March 2022 (UTC)[reply]

Consistency would be good: I can't see any particular change in the Speaker's role to explain the shift in style. I think the Speaker should be counted separately from the party totals. The Speaker stands as Speaker and does not vote with a party. A footnote explaining (whatever we're doing) is definitely a good thing. Bondegezou (talk) 18:28, 24 March 2022 (UTC)[reply]
@Bondegezou Sounds good - I think I'm leaning that way as well. There's definitely an argument for cutting it off at some point, but not in the past century or so. Looks like it may be a lot of work to check we don't mess up the vote totals etc as well, though, so I'll have a look at doing it cautiously when I've some free time. Andrew Gray (talk) 19:39, 26 March 2022 (UTC)[reply]

One bout of Covid later, finally had time to look into this. The Commons Library CBP-8647 report with vote totals handily gives a specific cut-off: "Speakers seeking re-election usually stood as ‘Speaker’ after 1955 but were elected as party MPs until then". However, confusingly, their data gives the Speaker as party-affiliated in some years and not others (eg Selwyn Lloyd is "other" in Feb 1974, but Con in Oct 1974). I wonder if there is some subtlety here about exactly how they stood at that particular election.

So far:

Will keep poking away. Andrew Gray (talk) 20:53, 21 April 2022 (UTC)[reply]

Part of the problem is that various conventions treat the Speaker as an MP for their old party (even if they've notably moved away from it - Hello Mr Bercow), including the way the Deputy Speakers are allocated between parties so that overall they don't affect the majority. (IIRC this was a consequence of the tight numbers in the 1964-66 Parliament.) However the precise majority matters more at some elections than others. The only significant change around 1997 is that it seems to have been under Boothroyd that a number of myths took hold about the role such as that mainstream opposition parties don't contest their seat, perhaps because it had been a while since the last counter case (and few had the 1987 election results by constituency to hand to check) and the Speaker started being regarded as a formal Independent.
I think the sources for the Commons report are just as confused as others. It's possible that around 1955 sitting Speakers started using the term on election addresses (ballot paper descriptions didn't come in for another decade and a half) but it's a very subtle distinction. Maybe in October 1974 the campaign in Lloyd's seat was more partisan than usual (or the hung parliament elected in February had focused minds on the point) but again it's an odd approach.
1935 may be the best cut-off. Up until then the Speaker was rarely contested (and usually when he was there were particular partisan circumstances) but from that election onwards there's always been a contest. Timrollpickering (talk) 09:56, 22 April 2022 (UTC)[reply]
@Bondegezou and Timrollpickering: I played around with a few approaches here but had trouble coming up with one I was happy to implement. The main sticking point is that in order to give actual vote counts we'd have to do a bit of original research, especially since it would need reconciling multiple different sources and then doing some arithmetic on the results. Quite minimal OR, but still, I wasn't greatly happy with it. What I've done as a stopgap is go back to 1955 and add a footnote to the seat totals in "Speaker elections" clarifying that the Speaker is included in the party count - "The seat and vote count figures for the --- given here include the Speaker of the House of Commons". Happy to change it if an alternative wording seems best. Andrew Gray (talk) 20:48, 18 May 2022 (UTC)[reply]

No Wikipedia page!

One of the top advisers to the Conservative Party, David Canzini, was profiled this morning on BBC Radio 4. The item began with the statement "He has no Wikipedia page". On the basis of the profile, this can now be remedied. There's some good background in the FT here. There's also an interesting piece in the Guardian.--Ipigott (talk) 08:53, 29 May 2022 (UTC)[reply]

Max Fosh

I know some of you will remember Max Fosh, who stood in last year's London mayoral election. His article is up for deletion: see Wikipedia:Articles for deletion/Max Fosh (2nd nomination). Input welcome. Bondegezou (talk) 13:31, 31 May 2022 (UTC)[reply]


The page List of British political memoirs needs work. At present it's just a long list. I'd like to arrange the authors by party allegiance. Robin S. Taylor (talk) 16:08, 1 June 2022 (UTC)[reply]

Adding Partygate to Opinion polling for the next United Kingdom general election

There is a discussion at the opinion polling article that may interest members of this Wikiproject. Thank you. — Czello 10:19, 7 June 2022 (UTC)[reply]

Council articles

A lot of district councils in England like South Hams District Council should probably be merged with South Hams etc per WP:UKDISTRICTS however there are a number of cases where a district has been combined with a settlement (around 40) and thus a separate council article should probably exist but none currently exists for 7 of them, these are:

If we decide to split Gosport and Worcester districts to Borough of Gosport and City of Worcester, England then the councils should probably not have separate articles but redirect to the district articles. Crouch, Swale (talk) 21:33, 11 June 2022 (UTC)[reply]

Discussion at Talk:Joseph Pearce

There is a discussion in progress about recent additions to Joseph Pearce. Project members are invited to visit the discussion and contribute their views. Chiswick Chap (talk) 13:32, 13 June 2022 (UTC)[reply]

Prime Minister in the infobox of Opposition leader

Why are the Prime Ministers listed in the infoboxes of Opposition Leaders? The Leader of the Opposition doesn't serve under the Prime Minister. GoodDay (talk) 03:10, 19 June 2022 (UTC)[reply]

Results overkill

Recent UK by-elections articles, like 2022 Wakefield by-election and 2022 Tiverton and Honiton by-election, now show the same results in four different formats. This seems unnecessary. I've started a discussion at Wikipedia_talk:WikiProject_Elections_and_Referendums#Results_overkill and input there from this Project too would be valuable. Bondegezou (talk) 21:46, 26 June 2022 (UTC)[reply]

Leader of the Opposition's infobox content

Why is the 'prime minister' listed in the opposition leader's infobox content? The opposition leader isn't in the prime minister's cabinet. GoodDay (talk) 22:32, 27 June 2022 (UTC)[reply]