Advanced Search Help

    General Search Tips

    Do not include apostrophes in any of the fields when using the search engine as they will be seen as an incorrect character and will produce an error message. For example, enter queens award rather than queen's award.

    Too many hits
    If your search is not specific enough it may produce too may results for the search engine to list. This is most notable when the result list is refers to being over 1000 and our advice is to reduce your search using the Date Created option

    1. What are you looking for?
    • With all the words

    • Use this search box to enter any key words that must appear in the returned document(s)

    • With any of the words

    • Use this search box to enter any key words that may appear in the returned document(s). This allows you to specify more key words than you actually need because not all are required. This can help when you are not entirely sure what words would be in the text.

    • With the exact phrase

    • Use this field to specify the exact phrase you want to search for. Only use one phrase in this field at a time. The words of your exact phrase will need to be a duplication of the text you expect to find on the web page you are looking for in order for the search engine to be successful.

    • Without the words

    • This can only be used with the ANY or ALL options, above. Basically, if you enter a number of words in the ALL search box you can also enter words in this box to filter out documents that contain all of the ALL words and none of the without words.

    2. Which set of pages or documents do you want to search?
    This section contains a selection of tick boxes that you can use to restrict your search to certain parts of the site. The tick boxes are arranged by House, or document type. Alternatively, the tick boxes may remain unticked to search across the entire site.

    3. Who is speaking?
    • This search box works on the surname of the speaker. Enter the surname of the speaker to search Hansard (both Commons and Lords) for speeches made by that speaker. Again, this may be used in conjunction with the tick boxes, above, to restrict to one House or the other.

    • This search box also works on the full name of the speaker, if entered forename first. This can help to narrow your search A search for "Helen Clark" will ensure that contributions from other Members with the surname "Clark" are not included in the results.

    • Names with apostrophes, such as O'Brien, should be entered without the apostrophes - OBrien

    • Hyphenated names should be added to this field without the hyphen in between the names. Curtis-Thomas will therefore be typed in as Curtis Thomas

    4. Question Number
    Use this box to search for speeches that have a Question Number associated with them. This is used for Commons and Lords Hansard and for Order Book searches.

    5. What format is the document or page? There are three selections here: Any, HTML or PDF. Nearly all documents on the site are in HTML format, so either select this or Any for accurate searches.

    6. When was it created?
    Use this facility to restrict your searches by date. There are four options available:
    • Any

    • Use this to search across all date ranges

    • On

    • Select a day, month and year to search on. This will restrict your searches to one day only.

    • Since

    • Select a day, month and year to search on. This will restrict your searches to all days since the one selected to date.

    • Between

    • Select two sets of day, month and years to search between. This will restrict your searches between the two sets of dates given.

    7. How would you like to order the results?
    • In date order (most recent entry first)

    • This will return a hit list of relevant documents to you with the most recent first. It may not be the most relevant, but will be the newest.

    • In order of relevance

    • This will order your Hit List with the most relevant document at the top. Most relevant is determined to be the one that most closely matches your specified criteria from the search page.