A confidence and supply agreement is a political arrangement typically found in parliamentary systems. It involves a minor party or independent members of parliament (MPs) agreeing to support the government in key votes, specifically confidence votes and budget (supply) bills, without formally joining the government coalition. Here’s a breakdown of its meaning and effects:


  1. Confidence Votes: The supporting party or MPs agree to vote in favour of the government in any votes of confidence. These votes are crucial as they determine whether the government can continue to function. A vote of no confidence would typically force the government to resign.
  2. Supply Bills: These involve the budget and other financial legislation required to fund government operations. The supporting party or MPs agree to back these bills, ensuring that the government can implement its fiscal policies and maintain operations.


  1. Government Stability: By securing a confidence and supply agreement, a minority government can achieve a stable working majority in parliament. This reduces the risk of being toppled by votes of no confidence or financial deadlock.
  2. Policy Influence: The supporting party or MPs can negotiate terms for their support, often influencing government policy or securing specific concessions. While they do not have ministerial positions, they can still shape legislative priorities and decisions.
  3. Flexibility: Unlike a formal coalition, a confidence and supply agreement allows the supporting party to maintain a degree of independence. They are not bound by collective cabinet responsibility and can vote against the government on other issues.
  4. Political Trade-offs: The primary party in government may have to make significant policy concessions to secure the agreement. This can lead to a broader or more inclusive policy approach but can also result in compromises that might not align with the primary party’s platform.
  5. Public Perception: Such agreements can affect how parties are perceived by the public. The supporting party might be seen as having a moderating influence or as enabling the government, which can either boost or harm their political capital depending on public sentiment.


  • New Zealand: The Labour Party under Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern formed a government with the support of the Green Party through a confidence and supply agreement after the 2017 election.
  • United Kingdom: The Conservative Party led by Theresa May entered into a confidence and supply agreement with the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) following the 2017 general election to maintain a parliamentary majority.

In summary, confidence and supply agreements are strategic tools in parliamentary politics that help minority governments maintain power while providing smaller parties or independents a platform to influence policy without formally joining the government.

Note: Text generated in part with OpenAI’s model and language reviewed, edited, and revised in part but ultimate responsibility for content accepted.