Channel 4 Learning


Who rules //

Other political parties

Besides the three main parties, there are also others competing for power. These are relatively small compared with the main ones, but they still win seats in Parliament and have some say in what's going on. They also provide alternative voices to the three main parties.

Plaid Cymru

Plaid Cymru rosette

Plaid Cymru is a Welsh political party. It strongly believes that Wales should have law-making powers within its National Assembly in order to achieve real change. It thinks that Wales should protect its heritage and culture. One of its main priorities is maintaining and promoting the status of the Welsh language. The party thinks government should take a lead in providing public services and that this shouldn't be left to private businesses.

The SNP

SNP rosette

The SNP (Scottish National Party) is the main opposition party in Scotland. It campaigned to have a Scottish Parliament for many years. It is keen to encourage Scotland to be proud of its culture and heritage and safeguard its languages. It believes that Scotland should be a member of Europe in its own right – independent of the UK.

The Green Party

Green Party rosette

The Green Party is committed to the protection of the environment and natural resources. It wants to create a responsible society which considers how its actions will affect those around them. It thinks those affected most by decisions should be the ones to take them and that there should be non-violent solutions to conflict.

UKIP

UKIP rosette

The UK Independence Party (UKIP) wants to withdraw Britain from the European Union. It believes that being part of the European Union is bad for the UK and that it doesn't really suit the people of the country. UKIP is the fourth largest political party in the UK. Some people think that it is not a real political party as its main aim is to get the UK out of Europe; it only really has one main policy and no clear ideas about other important issues. What do you think?

Key Points

  • Plaid Cymru and the SNP are just two of the many other political parties in the UK.
  • Quite often the other parties tend to be regional parties or support a particular cause or issue.

Interesting Facts

  • In the 2001 election only 6% of voters chose a party other than the main three. 3% voted for Plaid Cymru or the SNP and 1% voted for the Green Party.
  • There's a party called the Monster Raving Loony Party. One of its policies is that joggers will be banned from the roads and instead placed into giant treadmills that will generate free electricity for old-age pensioners.

Big Question

  • Is voting for a party other than the main three a wasted vote?