Monthly Archives: January 2013

Parliament links

Links to various useful resources dotted around the Parliament website, for all those wanting to demystify the Parliamentary process:

  • Parliament TV. Whatever is being broadcast from Parliament, including Select Committees and Public Bill Committees, will be here.
  • Commons Hansard by date. Daily record of debates in the Commons and Westminster Hall, as well as written answers and corrections.
  • Summary agenda and order of business. Shows the detailed order of business for the House on any given day. Very useful to compare to the actual hansard record in terms of seeing what questions were scheduled to be asked but weren’t due to lack of time.
  • Future business. What’s happening in the Commons predominantly over the next week.
  • Parliament Advanced Search feature. Allows you to search for key words and phrases amongst all Parliamentary publications, including PQs, debates and research briefings.
  • Bills and legislation. Main gateway for Bills and draft Bills (example: Energy Bill page)
  • Deposited papers. Statements from Ministers and Departments not made verbally in the chamber.
  • Publications and records. All Parliamentary publications, including hansards of Lords debates and Public Bill committees.
  • The Question Book. Shows all questions that have been tabled by MPs, but not yet answered.
  • The Parliament Glossary. Includes explanations of lots of parliamentary jargon.

Polling Data

A raft of commentators and blogs will talk about opinion polls, but surprisingly few will link back to their source material. So a quick link to Ipsos MORI’s Research Archive is very helpful. Their issues index is particularly good, and the latest results can be seen here and at the bottom of the page.

In the interests of balance, here also is the Yougov polling archive, which I personally don’t find nearly as intuitive. In particular, look for their categories on Political Trackers and Politics.

Useful Ipsos MORI pages

Useful Yougov pages


Labour Party Rulebook

*Edited- the external site hosting the Labour Party rulebook appears to have taken it down. You can still access the up to date rules via the Labour membersnet rules and procedures section below.

Membersnet Rules and Procedures full web address:

Census tables

This part of the 2011 Census website gives excel spreadsheets, broken down by region and by local authority, gives counts of a number of different kinds of demographic, social and economic data.  I’ve linked directly to what I think are some of the most useful and instructive datasets to inform local political debates:



Power Relations


See all of the tables here: Release: 2011 Census, Key Statistics for Local Authorities in England and Wales

The Census website also summarises national findings broken down into the categories of ‘who we are,’ ‘how we live,’ and ‘what we do.’  It’s a good way of getting familiar with what the different categories refer to.  Read 2011 Census: Key Statistics for England and Wales, March 2011

Professions affected by the 1% benefits uprating cap

There have been a few media mentions this week about a report by the Children’s Society showing how parents in different professions would be hit by the Government’s 1% cap on benefits.  The report itself is a Parliamentary Briefing on the Second Reading of the Welfare Up-Rating Bill, here.

The really excellent bit is this table:


They also give these some very useful real life examples of how working parents in different professions will be affected by the Bill up to 2015:

  • A lone parent working as a nurse with two children, earning £530 per week – would lose £424 a year by 2015.
  • A couple with 3 children, one earner a second lieutenant in the Army, earning £470 per week – would lose £552 a year by 2015.
  • A lone parent working as a hairdresser with one child, earning £195 per week – would lose £296 by a year 2015.
  • A couple earning £395 per week with two children, one a childminder earning £240 per week, and the other a postal worker– would lose £351 a year by 2015.

You can read further Children’s Society briefings here.