Westminster Parliament has been dominated by the two-party system of a Government and an Official Opposition. In the 2001 general election the Liberal Democrats were the third largest party.
All other minor parties are refered to as the opposition, which can include Independent candidates. One Independent MP was returned at the 2001 general election - Dr Richard Taylor (Wyre Forest).
2001 Election result and leaders
Labour 412 seats (Government)
Leader - Tony Blair
Conservatives 166 (Official Opposition)
Leader: Michael Howard
Liberal Democrats 52 (Opposition)
Leader: Charles Kennedy