Parliament from above


Parliament Revealed

How do the measures in the Queen’s Speech become law? What do Select Committees do? Who decides what subjects will be debated in the House of Commons?  What’s the difference between the role of the Speaker in the House of Commons and the Lord Speaker in the House of Lords?


Find the answers – and plenty of others – with a new free education resource from the Hansard Society. Parliament Revealed provides a straightforward guide to understanding Parliament with easily-accessible information in bite-sized explanations

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Audit of Political Engagement 11New Hansard Society research shows extent to which public expect more from MPs’ conduct and accountability.

A ‘People’s Question Time Day’ would be a helpful reform

The 2014 Hansard Society annual Audit of Political Engagement 11, published April 30, shows the level of public concern with the culture and conduct of politics and politicians and, while levels of interest in and knowledge of politics are holding up or improving, the public continue to feel relatively powerless in the political process.

For more information see the new Audit of Political website and the Audit of Political Engagement research page on this site.

Listen to the authors discuss their findings at the launch event for Audit 11

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Sense4UsA three year project, co-funded by the

Seventh Framework Programme,

aims to facilitate the policy-making processes


Sense4us – a collaborative research and development project funded by the  European Commission and bringing together seven academic, technical and civil society organisations from across Europe to facilitate policy-making processes – has been launched in Brussels.

Sense4us will research ways to make policy-making more effective using cutting edge research and technologies. The online tool that will be created by the project will:

  • Gather and summarise information from multiple sources (i.e. open data, citizen generated data, forums etc.), thus helping policy-makers find and use effectively the most relevant and updated information when forming policies
  • Enable policy-makers to simulate the impacts and consequences of different policy options before policies are formally adopted. This modelling of policies will allow policy-makers to choose the proposal that best fits their objectives and will help to avoid unintended consequences.

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Measured or Makeshift? Parliamentary scrutiny of the European UnionIn a new pamphlet from the Hansard Society published today – Measured or Makeshift – Parliamentary scrutiny of the European Union – politicians, commentators and academics demonstrate a growing concern that many EU initiatives are not subject to sufficiently robust parliamentary scrutiny at Westminster and question whether there is a democratic deficit at the heart of our relationship with the European Union.

Measured or Makeshift – Parliamentary scrutiny of the European Union comprises a series of essays from leading experts, exploring how the system could be improved to address the democratic deficit and ensure that Parliament is more effective and influential in its scrutiny of European issues.

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For the first time ever Open House London comes to Parliament Square this weekend (Saturday 21 and Sunday 22 September) thanks to a partnership between the Hansard Society and Parliament’s Public Engagement and Learning Team supported by all the key institutions surrounding the Square.

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Scotland flag

6:45pm, Tuesday 11th June

Wilson Room, Portcullis House, Westminster



At the 2014 referendum in Scotland, 16 and 17 year olds will be able to cast their vote for the first time in a major ballot in the UK. A panel of experts will be considering key questions:

  • Are 16 and 17 year olds in Scotland likely to increase the low level of voter turnout among young people; and is their participation likely to make any difference to the result?
  • Will the enfranchisement of 16 and 17 year olds in the referendum in Scotland set a precedent for future elections in the rest of the UK?  Could a low turnout in Scotland set back the campaign for Votes at 16 in the rest of the UK?
  • What will be the effect on the teaching of political literacy in schools? Teachers will now be teaching about politics to 16 and 17 year olds who can actually vote – will this put more pressure on teachers? Will the teaching of political literacy need to take a different approach?

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Audit of Political Engagement 1010Audit of Political Engagement 10



The 2013 Hansard Society annual Audit of Political Engagement 10, published May 15, shows that the public are so disillusioned, disenchanted and disengaged from politics that:


  • Just 41% of the public say they are certain to vote in the event of a general election, compared to 48% last year and 58% two years ago.
  • The public’s propensity to vote is now the lowest ever recorded in the Audit series.
  • Only 12% of 18-24 year olds say they are absolutely certain to vote – compared to 22% last year and 30% two years ago.
  • 20% of the public say they are ‘absolutely certain not to vote’ –  compared to 16% last year and double the number who said the same two years ago (10%).
  • Only 42% of the public say they would vote in an election in the future ‘if they felt strongly enough about an issue’; that 58% of people are still not prepared to vote even if they feel strongly, suggests serious disillusionment with the efficacy of voting.

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Press enquiries

For press enquiries, please contact:

020 7710 6080
020 7710 6077
07779 666 771

Research team

Dr Ruth Fox, Director and Head of Research

Joel Blackwell, Senior Researcher

Scholars Programme dates

Dates for upcoming programmes:

Spring 2016
January 16 - April 23
Fee: £10,250.

Summer 2016
May 21 - July 16
Fee: £6200.

Autumn 2016
September 3 - December 10
Fee: £10,500.

Click here to apply

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