• constituency boundaries
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    How to balance the competing demands of arithmetic, continuity and geography in designing constituencies

How to balance the competing demands of arithmetic, continuity and geography in designing constituencies

The review of Parliamentary constituencies that ended prematurely in 2013 would have resulted in most of the 600 seats contested at the 2015 general election being very different from the current 650. Another review – again reducing the number of MPs to 600 – is scheduled to start in 2016, preparatory for the 2020 general election. But if the […]

  • House of Commons
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    If we wish to hold MPs to account through some form of recall, then we should at least identify what we think they should be doing

If we wish to hold MPs to account through some form of recall, then we should at least identify what we think they should be doing

With a Recall Bill featuring in the Queen’s Speech, now is the time to ask the question whether, in this case, no legislation is better than some legislation (given the specific provisions of this Bill). Two other options have their respective supporters inside parliament and are likely to feature in deliberations upon the Bill. David Judge argues that both […]

The Audacity of Nope: Meaningful fiscal accountability remains a pipe dream for Wales

Welsh Labour has hitherto refused to accept income tax devolution, arguing accepting such responsibilities would be economically detrimental to Wales without a reform of the Barnett funding formula. Recent comments made by Owen Smith, Shadow Secretary of Wales, however, leaves little doubt about the overall attitude of Welsh Labour to the first report of the Silk Commission and fiscal accountability: they don’t want […]

The Austrian experience shows that there is little risk and much to gain from giving 16-year-olds the vote

Sadiq Khan recently called for the voting age to be lowered to 16 in the UK. Markus Wagner and Eva Zeglovits examine arguments for and against, arguing that it is a reform that carries few dangers and can motivate schools to reach out to and motivate young people. On 24 January, Labour’s shadow justice secretary Sadiq Khan called for the voting age […]

In Britain’s first past the post electoral system, some votes are worth 22 times more than others

Britain’s electoral landscape is dominated by safe seats, with very little competition for votes taking place within them. New research, presented here by Chris Terry of the Electoral Reform society, shows the enormous differences between the ‘cost’ of votes in different constituencies, calling into question the premise that all votes are equal. This article was originally published on the Democratic Audit blog. A […]

The Commission on Devolution in Wales: Considering what, if any, the next steps in Wales’ journey of devolution should be

In 2010 the coalition government established the Commission on Devolution in Wales, tasked with considering Wales’ constitutional arrangements. Paul Silk, Chair of the Commission, describes its recommendation for a degree of self-financing for the National Assembly. In the second part of their work, due out in Spring of 2014, the Commission is examining the powers of the Assembly more generally, with a view […]

Parliament bounces back – how Select Committees have become a power in the land

Much reformist discussion of the House of Commons views it as an institution in permanent decline, operating in a museum-building with stuffy and out-of-date processes that MPs stubbornly refuse to change. But Patrick Dunleavy and Dominic Muir show that the reforms pushed through in 2009-10 by Tony Wright have already made a dramatic difference. The media visibility of the Commons’ […]

Take a closer look at the House of Lords: it may not be quite what you think

The House of Lords is reputed as an antiquated chamber of old white men wearing strange robes. Meg Russell dispels common misconceptions, showing how the Lords is quite diverse relative to the Commons and better reflects the country’s vote distribution. It is also politically assertive, thanks to the 1999 reform that removed hereditary members, and no longer conservative in nature. […]

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Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported
This work by British Politics and Policy at LSE is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported.