Elections in Britain: A Voter's Guide by Dick Leonard, Roger Mortimore

By Dick Leonard, Roger Mortimore

How do British elections paintings? Dick Leonard, a political journalist and previous MP, and Roger Mortimore, an opinion pollster, disguise all elements of British elections during this up to date variation of the normal paintings, together with entire tables of information and effects.

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Extra resources for Elections in Britain: A Voter's Guide

Sample text

STV (which is used in the Irish Republic, for elections in Northern Ireland except to the House of Commons, and which is soon to be introduced for local government elections in Scotland) remains the preferred proportional system of many British campaigners, including the Liberal Democrats and the Electoral Reform Society. However, when proportional representation was finally introduced for some elections in Great Britain in 1999, two other systems were adopted instead – ‘closed’ regional party lists in the European elections, and the Additional Member System (based on the West German model and also recently adopted in New Zealand) for the Scottish Parliament and Welsh Assembly, as well as for the London Assembly elected in 2000.

1 The origin of the different constituencies is diverse. Some constituency names, particularly those comprising medium-sized provincial towns, go back several hundred years, though the precise boundaries of the constituencies are unlikely not to have been altered at some time. The vast majority of constituencies were in fact newly delineated prior to the 1983 general election, and three-quarters were redrawn again before 1997. The basis of representation in the House of Commons from 1264 to 1832 was, with a few exceptions, two members for each county and two for each borough.

The Liberal Democrats were formed (originally as the Social and Liberal Democrats) in 1988 by a merger of the Liberal Party, whose history was similar to that of the Conservatives, and the Social Democratic Party (SDP), which was founded in 1981, mainly by a group of defecting Labour MPs. Its constitution owes something to both traditions, protecting the autonomy of its MPs while reserving to the mass membership the final decision-making powers. In all three parties, the leader of the party in the House of Commons and the leader of the whole party are one and the same.

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