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Government[show]Parliament[show]Judiciary[show]UK countries[show]Elections[show]Foreign policy[show]| Other countries · AtlasPolitics portalview • talk • edit| The politics of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland has taken place in 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 of government. Executive power is exercised by the UK government, 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 Parliament, the House of Commons and the House of Lords, as well as in the Scottish parliament and Welsh 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 a multi-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 other major 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 used for 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. Growing support for Nationalist parties in Scotland and Wales led to proposals for devolution in the 1970s though only in the 1990s did devolution actually happen. Today, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland 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 and devolution of executive and legislative powers has contributed to a reduction in support for full independence. The principal pro-independence party, the Scottish National Party, won 20 extra MSPs at the 2007 Scottish parliament elections and now forms the Scottish Government as a minority administration, with plans to hold a referendum on negotiating for independence, before 2011. In Wales, the nationalist party, Plaid Cymru, is the junior coalition partner in the Welsh Assembly Government although unlike the Scottish National Party it does not officially advocate complete secession from the United Kingdom. In Northern Ireland, the largest Pro-Belfast Agreement party, Sinn Féin, not only advocates Northern Ireland's unification with the Republic of Ireland, but also abstains from taking their elected seats in the Westminster government, as this would entail taking a pledge of allegiance to the British monarch. The constitution is uncodified, being made up of constitutional conventions, statutes and other elements. This system of government, known as the Westminster system, has been adopted by other countries as well, such as Canada, India, Australia, New Zealand, Singapore, Malaysia and Jamaica, countries that made up part of the British Empire. Contents [hide] * 1 Monarch * 2 Executive * 2.1 The United Kingdom Government * 2.1.1 The Prime Minister and the Cabinet * 2.1.2 Government Departments and the Civil Service * 2.2 Devolved national administrations * 2.2.1 Scottish Government * 2.2.2 Welsh Assembly Government * 2.2.3 Northern Ireland Executive * 3 Legislatures * 3.1 UK Parliament * 3.1.1 House of Commons * 3.1.2 House of Lords * 3.2 Devolved national legislatures *...