Template talk:British House of Commons composition

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I understand that there is no set seating arrangement but I think we should create a clean, table-based diagram like the one for Party standings in the Canadian House of Commons. Either that or recreate the image here in PNG format. --Zippanova 18:57, 8 August 2005 (UTC)

I updated the image to a clean PNG until I have time to recreate the diagram into a table. If anyone wants to work on that, I found another example, this one relating directly to the UK Commons: MPs elected in the UK general election, 2001 (oldid=9883284) — Preceding unsigned comment added by Zippanova (talkcontribs) 23:39, 8 August 2005 (UTC)

Sien Fien (Ok, i spelled it Wrong)[edit]

Should they be included on the chart, seeing as how they dont take seats? — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 04:28, 8 January 2006‎ (UTC)

Not sure about that, but as for the spelling it's: Sinn Fein IRA — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 00:39, 24 December 2006 (UTC)

Conservative MPs total[edit]

198 were elected in 2005.

Yet according to this article there are 195 in the Commons. I know that 1 crossed the floor. But where are the other 2? Biofoundationsoflanguage 10:33, 22 July 2007 (UTC)

Never mind! They are two Deputy Speakers! I think this is worth mentioning on the article somewhere. Biofoundationsoflanguage 17:24, 22 July 2007 (UTC)

Deputy speakers[edit]

I have moved Alan Haselhurst back to the Conservative total, because:

  • deputy speakers stand for election as party members,
  • all deputy speakers must be appointed when Parliament sits again
  • two of Labour's 258 will be appointed, but as we do not yet know who.

Rather than reducing the Conservatives total now when there are still two Labour members to go, the least confusing thing to do is to leave him as a Conservative (which is what he actually is) but amend the footnote to mention that three deputy speakers have yet to be chosen. When they are chosen then we can represent it properly. ninety:one 14:57, 15 May 2010 (UTC)

That's a good point. He was elected as a Conservative, not as CWM. (talk) 13:41, 22 May 2010 (UTC)


The semi-circular diagram is misleading, for two reasons:

  1. The Commons chamber is not arranged in this way. It is one of the few legislatures that doesn't have such an arrangement.
  2. The Liberal Democrats are part of the government, the "others" are not. Therefore, having them overlap is misleading. (talk) 17:22, 25 May 2010 (UTC)

Edit on 2 June 2010[edit]

I see what User:Þadius is trying to do here, but I think it's flawed. The details of the last election and footnotes should indicate how the composition of a parliament has evolved, and the lines in mid table were confusing. --Pretty Green (talk) 08:55, 2 June 2010 (UTC)

That's the way its done in Canadian political articles such as List of House members of the 40th Parliament of Canada#Changes since election — Preceding unsigned comment added by Þadius (talkcontribs) 19:10, 8 July 2010 (UTC)

Removing of excessive footnotes[edit]

The footnotes on this template have become excessive. We should reduce the footnotes to just referring to changes in overall numbers when compared to the previous General Election. In particular, it is disruptive in reading the 'House of Commons of the United Kingdom' page and I just can't see how it's relevant here. Where MPs have left Parliament and been replaced by an MP of the same party, this does not affect the composition of the House of Commons. This is how it operated during the previous Parliament ([1]). I propose a version such as the following. I should also note that the reversion of my previous edit was done on completely spurious grounds - if the editor objected to the change then that's their prerogative, but there's nothing which demands that all large changes be run by the talk page first. --Super Nintendo Chalmers (talk) 12:25, 17 May 2013 (UTC)

There's nothing which demands that all large changes be run by the talk page first, but it's courteous to do so. Several other editors have contributed to the article and none of them has changed it in the way you are suggesting; they ought to be given the opportunity to express their views. It's also courteous to refrain from using inflammatory language such as "completely spurious" when there are also valid arguments for keeping the page as it is. And I didn't "object to the change": I objected to it being made without discussion. As it happens, I agree with the thrust of your argument that the footnotes should be reduced, but let's see what others have to say. Incidentally, your abbreviated version doesn't explain that the three Deputy Speakers come from three different parties and the footnote attributed to Respect in the table should be 3, not 4. Headhitter (talk) 16:22, 17 May 2013 (UTC)
I don't understand why only the notes referring to changes in numbers since the general election should be kept. Surely it is as relevant to note the changes in the current composition from a few days ago as it is to note the changes from the original? Anyway, I suppose that if someone is reading the aforementioned article and comes across a section entitled 'Current composition', and then decides to read it, then I suppose that that reader is interested in the current composition, and not how that relates to the last general election, or indeed any other point in time since then. Therefore, it could be said that the notes are out of place at that particular point. A possible suggestion would be to keep the notes where they are on the template, but to not include them when the template is used in another article. Whatever happens, however, I must stress that I think that the information included in these notes is definitely encyclopaedic, and it should be kept somewhere on Wikipedia, even after this template changes after the next general election. RedvBlue 21:40, 17 May 2013 (UTC)
@Headhitter. I still think that spurious is acurate and I didn't say that you disagreed - if you'd reverted on the basis of disagreeing I'd have had no problem. I think that rejecting a bold change purely on the grounds that it is a change is really problematic in the context of a wiki - but we disagree, and that's life. I'm glad that we agree on the content issue :). @ RedvBlue - I think we have our wires crossed? If the composition has changed since a few days ago then that should be reflected - I agree. But that change will also be a change from the General Election? The point being that if a Labour MP is replaced by another Labour MP, this is not the place to note it. That info is on wikipedia - at pages such as List of United Kingdom by-elections (1979–present) and List of MPs elected in the United Kingdom general election, 2010. Super Nintendo Chalmers (talk) 22:50, 17 May 2013 (UTC)
To give an example of what I mean; Nadine Dorries began this Parliament as a Conservative MP. She then lost that right, and had to sit as an independent. Thus, the composition changed. Then she was reinstated as a Conservative MP, and the composition changed again. However, as these changes have, in the end, had no impact on the number of Conservative MPs since the general election, then I am guessing that they would not be included in the notes under your earlier proposal. I disagree with this. I believe that each change since the general election is noteworthy, even if the effect of that change is reversed. Therefore, with Dorries, I think that the initial change and the change back are as notable as a by-election gain. If we were to only include changes with regards to the general election, then this kind of information would not be included. Dorries' situation isn't on those links that you've provided, so I'd be concerned. RedvBlue 17:29, 18 May 2013 (UTC)
OK, but it's on both Nadine Dorries and Mid Bedfordshire (UK Parliament constituency), where it's relevant. It may also be relevant for List of MPs elected in the United Kingdom general election, 2010#Changes & by-elections, but if it's an absence on that page then that can be made there easily. I'm not sure it's relevant to the current composition of the House of Commons. I'd argue that the purpose of the footnotes is to explain why the numbers in the current composition are different from the numbers of the previous General Election. Super Nintendo Chalmers (talk) 16:30, 19 May 2013 (UTC)
Firstly, I think that it's important that the information is not just on Nadine Dorries and Mid Bedfordshire (UK Parliament constituency). If it was only mentioned on those articles, then people couldn't be certain that there had been no such changes to MPs unless they checked all six hundred and fifty constituency pages. Changes such as Dorries' need to be on a list along with all the by-elections and defections. Secondly, I'm not sure that I accept your reasoning for the notes (that they are there to demonstrate the changes since the general election). Let me give a hypothetical example. Suppose that there were two by-elections. In one, Labour gained from the Conservatives, and in the other, the Conservatives gained from Labour. This results in no change to the numbers from the general election. Therefore, under your proposal, I can't say for sure whether I think that this information is notable, or not. It would be a bit weird if it wasn't there, and yet the result of a third by-election could be listed if that led to a change. Maybe, in order to get the changes since the general election displayed as clearly as you would like, an additional column could be added to this template. Such a column could be entitled 'Change since general election', and in it '+1', '-1', or whatever could be displayed next to each party. A link to the list of by-elections, defections and Dorries-kind of situations could be displayed, thus removing the need for any kind of notes. RedvBlue 18:36, 19 May 2013 (UTC)

<reduce indent> Well my gripe is not at the information being here as such - rather, I fear that the table becomes difficult to read with multiple footnotes, and that it disrupts the page(s) that it is displayed on due to the length of notes. I like your suggestions - to convert it into a series of actions:

Super Nintendo Chalmers (talk) 20:50, 20 May 2013 (UTC)

Agree with all. RedvBlue 21:11, 20 May 2013 (UTC)

References to footnotes for number columns ruin the possibility of using the table as a well formed datasource. So I moved them to a separate column. Kallocain (talk) 19:51, 2 September 2013 (UTC)

Deputy Speakers[edit]

In making the above edits, I removed the classification of the Deputy Speakers along with the Speaker. My logic for doing that was that the primary reliable source for this information - that is, the Parliament website - doesn't list these members separately. I'd be happy for this part of the change to be undone, but it seems to best fit with our policy of following what external sources say. Super Nintendo Chalmers (talk) 11:54, 21 May 2013 (UTC)

Yes, but I've added their party affiliations in the footnotes so as to make it clear that two of them are from the Labour Party and one from the Conservatives. Headhitter (talk) 15:31, 21 May 2013 (UTC)
Good idea. --Super Nintendo Chalmers (talk) 15:45, 21 May 2013 (UTC)
Nigel Evans (Conservative) has resigned as Deputy Speaker but I don't think he's been replaced yet. Headhitter (talk) 18:05, 13 September 2013 (UTC)

Mike Hancock's resignation from the Liberal Democrats[edit]

Super Nintendo Chalmers, you reverted my edit but it should be reinstated: as the government has lost one member and the opposition has gained one member, the government majority should be reduced by two, not one. Headhitter (talk) 09:04, 4 June 2013 (UTC)

Ah yes, of course I miscounted - my mistake. --Super Nintendo Chalmers (talk) 10:00, 4 June 2013 (UTC)
Or should we reduce it at all? The source maintains a majority of 79? --Super Nintendo Chalmers (talk) 10:00, 4 June 2013 (UTC)

Proposal for the best way of showing composition changes[edit]

Although I was pretty confident that a strong consensus was reached two years ago on this talk page about how best to deal with documenting the large amount of changes in the House of Commons' composition (see above), edits to this template today seem to indicate that it had previously not been entirely clear how the changes affected the politics of it all.

Rather than just revert the edits and go back to what was the previous consensus, I thought that it would be best to open up a discussion, as it might just help to see if there was anything that could be done better.

However, I'm afraid that I don't really think that this template is acceptable as it currently is. Individual MPs and constituencies are mentioned. This is exactly what we said we would not do, except for the Speaker and his deputies.

Perhaps, by mentioning only the Speaker and his deputies, this has not helped that matter, as it may have led to a feeling of 'injustice' of some kind for the other MPs to have an involvement in the calculation of the government majority. I'll come back to this point in a moment.

Before that, I just need to explain why I don't think that we can talk about certain MPs and constituencies in the notes of this template.

I'll use an example. Imagine the Conservative Party lost a seat to the Labour Party in a by-election. Going by what we'd have now, we'd have to note that in this template. Then imagine that the Labour Party lost two seats on the same day to the Conservative Party in by-elections. Either we'd have to note down all three by-elections, or we'd have to decide that the first by-election is 'cancelled out' by one of the later by-elections, so we wouldn't have to note either of them, but we'd be left with the impossible task of deciding which Conservative Party victory is notable.

Once you add more parties into the mix, as we have in real life with the Respect Party, then the situation becomes a whole lot more messy.

Unless we decide to go against having a short set of notes, and list all the changes in the notes of this template (and we previously decided not to do that), then we can't really have a system where we mention the individual MPs or constituencies because that would be relying on parties holding their seats in by-elections and there not being any defections if we wanted to keep the notes short.

In the 'List of MPs elected in the United Kingdom general election, 2010' I included a sentence beginning "The net outcome of all changes…" which details how the party counts have changed over the course of the Parliament. I think that this is a better idea than just pointing out the MPs which made a difference to the counts. There have been lots of by-elections and suspensions in this Parliament, and I definitely don't think that it is the job of Wikipedians to judge which are the most important. I put that sentence in that article, but I crucially left it for the readers to go further down the page if they wanted to decide which changes were the most important ones. Maybe we could help the readers with this, though, and I'll address this point, too.

Another problem of detailing the composition changes in the notes of this template is that they may be repeated in articles which the template appears in. This is the case with the 'List of MPs elected in the United Kingdom general election, 2010' article after I recently included the template within that article in response to a comment on that article's talk page.

As a result of everything that I have said, I'm prepared to take the individual MPs and constituencies back out of the notes of this template unless someone else does it first, or there is an objection on this talk page.

However, I'm thinking about taking the allusions to the Speaker and his deputies out at the same time. As I mentioned above, I'm not sure whether their inclusion was helping matters.

The notes of this template could simply be left to say "see here for changes", with a link to the section in the 'List of MPs elected in the United Kingdom general election, 2010' article. There could also be a note for parties that abstain (Sinn Féin), as well as one giving a 'formula' for calculating government majority. This last note could say how many Deputy Speakers should be deducted from each side of the calculation, but not name names.

Names should be named, however, towards the bottom of the 'List of MPs elected in the United Kingdom general election, 2010' article. I mentioned before that we could help readers identify changes more easily. Maybe we could change the bottom of that article so that it appears in tabular form, with colour coding. It could look similar to the 'List of United Kingdom by-elections (1979–present)' article. If there was a desire to change that article, though, then it would be best to discuss it on its own talk page. RedvBlue 19:24, 6 January 2015 (UTC)

Slightly delayed response but yes, well done on the changes - fully agreed! Super Nintendo Chalmers (talk) 12:37, 23 February 2015 (UTC)

Co-operative Party[edit]

In this article, the number of Co-operative party members is currently 26. However, in Co-operative Party, the party is said to have 28 MPs in the House of Commons. Either some sort of explanation to this page should be added, or one of those totals should be corrected. UpperJeans (talk) 01:41, 20 May 2017 (UTC)