In a parliamentary democracy based on the Westminster system, both confidence and supply are required for a minority government to retain power in the lower house.

A confidence-and-supply agreement is one whereby a party or independent members of parliament will support the government in motions of confidence and appropriation or budget (supply) votes, by either voting in favour or abstaining. However parties and independent members normally retain the right to otherwise vote in favour of their own policies or on conscience on legislative bills.

A coalition government is a more formal arrangement than a confidence and supply agreement in that members from the junior party (i.e. the party with fewer seats) gain positions in the cabinet, ministerial roles and may be expected to hold the government whip on passing legislation.


In most parliamentary democracies, members of a parliament can propose a motion of confidence or of no confidence in the government or executive. The results of such motions show how much support the government currently has in parliament. Should a motion of confidence fail, or a motion of no confidence pass, the government will usually either resign and allow other politicians to form a new government, or call an election.


Most parliamentary democracies require an annual state budget, an appropriation bill, or occasional financial measures to be passed by parliament in order for a government to pay its way and enact its policies. The failure of a supply bill is in effect the same as the failure of a confidence motion. In early modern England, the withholding of funds was one of parliament's few ways of controlling the monarch.

The UK in 2017Edit

2017 British General election fiasco resulted in on between the Conservatives and DUP.

Also seeEdit

  1. Appropriation bill
  2. Loss of supply (politics)
  3. Motion of no confidence
  4. 2017 British General election fiasco


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