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Parliament in the United Kingdom

3. Political Parties

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About this Lecture


In this module, we think about the extent that political parties matter in the Commons, focusing in particular on: (i) the extent to which the layout of the Commons prioritises the role of the two major parties; (ii) the ways in which parliamentary procedure privileges the role of the two major parties; (iii) the lack of representation for the smaller parties in Select Committees and Public Bill Committees; (iv) the methods, that smaller parties can use to maximise their impact; and (v) some examples of where smaller parties have had a real impact on legislation.


In this course, Dr Louise Thompson (University of Manchester) explores the role of parliament in the United Kingdom, focusing in particular on the relationship the executive and the legislative branches of government. In the first module, we think about when and how conflict occurs between government and parliament, and why it matters. After that, in the second module, we think about divisions in parliament and the ability of parliament to say no to government. In the third module, we explore the importance and role of political parties, before turning in the fourth module to the role of the House of Lords. Finally, in the fifth module, we think about Brexit and what it can tells us about the relationship between government and parliament.


Louise Thompson is Senior Lecturer in Politics at the University of Manchester. Her research focuses on the UK Parliament, particularly the legislative process, committees, political parties and public engagement within Parliament. Her wider research interests are in legislative studies, British politics and constitutional reform. Louise has published widely on the impact of parliament on government legislation and continues to research in this area.

Cite this Lecture

APA style

Thompson, L. (2020, February 21). Parliament in the United Kingdom - Political Parties [Video]. MASSOLIT.

MLA style

Thompson, L. "Parliament in the United Kingdom – Political Parties." MASSOLIT, uploaded by MASSOLIT, 21 Feb 2020,

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