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The relative size of the political parties in the House of Lords has been a source of debate for many years. While governments are generally formed on the basis of a majority following elections to the House of Commons, they do not necessarily enjoy an overall numerical majority in the Lords, and to a greater or lesser extent often rely on convention rather than voting strength to progress their legislative programmes through the second chamber. However, the composition of the House has changed over time. The implementation of the House of Lords Act 1999 removed the majority of hereditary peers, and represented a major change in the composition of the House.

This Library Note presents statistics on the relative size of the three largest political parties and the politically unaligned groups in the House of Lords. It also presents select statistics on voting behaviour in the House.


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