|Total number of seats||650|
|Working Government Majority||0|
Seats last checked against Parliament's Current State of the Parties on: 29/05/2017 19:53:22
Each constituency in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland is represented by a member of parliament (MP) occupying a 'seat' in the House of Commons, of which there are 650 seats in toal. In order to hold a majority (and to form a government), a party must win 326 of the 650 available seats.
Each MP has been elected by the residents of each constituency at a local election, and holds the seat in the House of Commons until Parliament is 'dissolved'.
General Elections are held on Thursdays
Although there is some doubt about where this tradition originated from, but it is thought it was introduced back in 1931 to coincide with market day to make it easier for those having to travel into a town to vote.
Candidates must pay £500
In order to stand for a candidate for a constituency, each candidate must pay a deposit of £500, refunded only if they win a minimum of 5% of the vote. They also need to submit nomination papers signed by at least ten registered voters from their constituency.
Front benches are spaced two-sword lengths apart
A red line is drawn on the carpet between the two sides of the house between the benches, which are two sword lengths apart - supposedly to stop any members of Parliament attacking a member on the opposite side. Today, the only member allowed to carry a sword in the chamber is the Serjant-at-Arms.
There's not enough seats for every MP
Although there are 650 Members of Parliament, there are only 427 available seats, meaning that any late arrivers must stand near the entrance of the House if they wish to join in or listen to debates taking place.
MPs may vote to sit in private
Whenever Parliament is in session the House is open to the general public. However, members may vote to sit in private - a member is able to shout "I spy strangers", whereupon a vote would be cast. However, this has only happened twice since 1950.
The monarch may not set foot in the House of Commons
In 1642 King Charles I burst into the House of Commons with an armed force to arrest five members of Parliament for treason. Following the action it was seen as a breach of the privilege of the House, and gave rise to the tradition that the monarch may not enter the House of Commons.
'House of Commons' does not refer to 'Commoners'
It is widely thought that the House of Commons is called so because its members are 'commoners'. However, the true meaning of the phrase is due to the fact that its members represent 'communities'.
It took over 400 years to see the first female MP
1918 saw the first female MP - Constance Markievicz, who represented Sinn Fein. Unfortunately, her party abstained from Westminster and she never took her seat. In the same year, women over 30 were first given their right to vote.
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Watch political debates, party political broadcasts, PMQ's and interviews with party candidates and MPs.
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Find out more about your local constituency, including local information, polls and MPs.