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The politics of the United Kingdom takes place within the framework of a constitutional monarchy, in which the Monarch is head of state and the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom is the head ofgovernment. Executive power is exercised by the Her Majesty's Government, on behalf of the Monarch, as well as by the devolved governments of Scotland and Wales, and the Executive of Northern Ireland.Legislative power is vested in both the government and the two chambers of the Parliament of the United Kingdom, the House of Commons and the House of Lords, as well as in the Scottish parliament andWelsh and Northern Ireland assemblies. The judiciary is independent of the executive and the legislature, the highest national court being the Supreme Court of the United Kingdom.
The UK is amulti-party system and since the 1920s, the two largest political parties have been the Conservative Party and the Labour Party, before the Labour Party rose in British politics the Liberal Party was the othermajor political party along with the Conservatives. Though coalition and minority governments have been an occasional feature of parliamentary politics, the first-past-the-post electoral system usedfor general elections tends to maintain the dominance of these two parties, though each has in the past century relied upon a third party to deliver a working majority in Parliament.[1]
Support fornationalist parties in Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales led to proposals for devolution in the 1970s though only in the 1990s did devolution actually happen. Today, Scotland, Wales and NorthernIreland each possess a legislature and government alongside that of the United Kingdom, responsible for devolved matters. However, it is a matter of dispute as to whether increased autonomy anddevolution of executive and legislative powers has contributed to a reduction in support for independence. The principal pro-independence party, the Scottish National Party, won 20 extra MSPs at the 2007...
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