House of Commons Library project to establish a research service in the Burmese Parliament

In June 2012 Nobel Peace Prize winner Aung San Suu Kyi gave a speech in Parliament. She had spent 15 of the past 21 years in Burma under house arrest, and following her release had been elected a Member of the Burmese parliament.

She spoke of her dreams for her country, its past struggles and the challenges that remain. She asked the UK Parliament to consider what it could do to support Burma’s “nascent Parliamentary democracy”.

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Who Gets Who They Vote For?

With the Scottish referendum approaching, the difference between the composition of MPs in areas and the national government is being highlighted. One of the arguments for Scottish Independence has been that a vote for independence would mean Scotland would not have a party in government in Westminster that it did not vote for. But how often do areas vote for the nationally elected government, and which are bellwether areas that tend to reflect the national vote?

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Who works in your constituency? A new interactive tool for exploring workplace populations

In a previous post we discussed the exciting new geography, Workplace Zones. Developed for Census 2011, Workplace Zones have been created to enable the publication of data on people working within areas. As promised, the Library has used Workplace Zones as building blocks to produce data on people working within English and Welsh parliamentary constituencies. The data have been published online for readers to investigate: simply use the drop downs to select the constituencies and topics you are interested in.
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World War One: The significance of Parliament during the Great War

One hundred years ago, London had enjoyed good weather for the August 3 bank holiday. The tense situation in Ireland, with conflict brewing between unionists and nationalists, and the suffragette campaign of direct action had taken the attention of most of the public over the summer, rather than the consequences of the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand in Sarajevo on 28 June 1914.

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Whither the UKIP vote? The 2014 local elections and implications for 2015

Eight weeks on from the 2014 European and local elections, the election results may be out of the headlines but parties are left with much to ponder as to what it means for their chances at the general election next May. UKIP’s extraordinary performance saw them secure 24 of the 73 European Parliament seats (up from 13 in 2009), gain an additional 1.85 million European votes relative to 2009, and win a record number of seats on local councils. We consider what UKIP’s success might mean for the general election.

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Who works where? What the 2011 Census tells us about co-workers and commutes

Have you ever noticed the same people on your train to work, getting off at your stop day in, day out, and wondered what do they do, how did they get on at school, or how long have they been on this train for (because they look like they have lost the will to live)?  Well, now, thanks to the innovative Workplace Zones, developed from the 2011 Census, we can find statistical answers to these questions – and more.  Workplace Zones have allowed for more data than ever to be released on the characteristics of workplace populations – characteristics such as the industries they work in, the qualifications they hold, and their level of health – to name but a few.
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In the red: households with more debt than money

140708 Households with more debt than money

In 2010-12, half of households (50%) in Great Britain had some kind of financial debt – for example formal borrowing (but not mortgages), overdrafts and arrears on household bills.  About half of these households – a quarter (25%) overall – had debts worth more than their financial assets.  Financial assets can include money held in the home or in bank accounts, savings accounts, stocks and shares, etc.

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