The House of Commons has at present 659 members, each of whom is the representative of a single-member constituency.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.
KeywordsGeneral Election Electoral System Proportional Representation Labour Party Proportionate Share
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Notes and References
- 1.Detailed and entertaining pen-portraits of every constituency, and their MPs, their histories and political and social characteristics, can be found in Robert Waller and Byron Criddle, The Almanac of British Politics, 7th edition (London: Routledge, 2002).Google Scholar
- 1.Simon Henig and Lewis Baston, The Political Map of Britain (London: Politico’s Publishing, 2002) has similar coverage with comprehensive historical statistics.Google Scholar
- 4.The history of the Boundary Commissions is told, and the effects of each of their boundary reviews analysed, in D. J. Rossiter, R. J. Johnston and C. J. Pattie, The Boundary Commissions (Manchester: Manchester University Press, 1999).Google Scholar
- 4.For a wider view of the principles involved see Iain McLean and David Butler (eds), Fixing the Boundaries (Aldershot: Dartmouth, 1996)Google Scholar
- 4.and Ron Johnston, Charles Pattie, Danny Dorling and David Rossiter, From Votes to Seats (Manchester: Manchester University Press, 2001).Google Scholar
- 5.House of Commons Debates (Hansard), Fifth Series, volume 535, columns 1839–41. Partially quoted by D. E. Butler in an article ‘The Redistribution of Seats’, Public Administration, Summer 1955. See also The Electoral System in Britain since 1918 (Oxford University Press, 1963) by the same author.Google Scholar
- 7.John Curtice and Michael Steed, ‘An Analysis of the Voting’, in David Butler and Dennis Kavanagh, The British General Election of 1983 (London: Macmillan, 1984), p. 361.Google Scholar
- 8.John Curtice and Michael Steed, ‘The Results Analysed’, in David Butler and Dennis Kavanagh, The British General Election of 1992 (London: Macmillan, 1992), p. 351.Google Scholar
- 10.John Curtice and Michael Steed, ‘The Results Analysed’, in David Butler and Dennis Kavanagh, The British General Election of 1997 (Basingstoke: Macmillan, 1997), p. 315.Google Scholar
- 11.John Curtice and Michael Steed, ‘The Results Analysed’, in David Butler and Dennis Kavanagh, The British General Election of 2001 (Basingstoke: Palgrave, 2002), pp. 331–2.Google Scholar