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House of Commons
The Lower House of the UK Parliament
House of Commons

The House of Commons is the lower house of Parliament, which also comprises the Head of State (the “sovereign”) and the House of Lords; known as the upper house.


In a General Election, the British public elects 650 Members of Parliament (MPs) using the First Past the Post (FPTP) system. MPs are elected by voters in their constituency to represent their interests and concerns in the House of Commons.

MPs consider and propose new laws, and can scrutinise government policies by asking ministers questions about current issues either in the Commons Chamber or in Committees.

Together the prime minister and cabinet form the government, which is answerable to the House of Commons and must retain the support of the House to pass bills and new legislation.


What's the problem?

The House of Commons is the central focus of political life in the UK. It is important to have an elected chamber that broadly represents the views of the nation as a whole. Of all the different electoral systems in use around the world, First Past the Post (FPTP) is one of the least fair and least representative.

Under FPTP, barely a third of elected MPs manage to attract the support of more than half of their constituents. The outcome of the election is decided by a tiny minority of swing voters who are lucky enough to live in the key battleground constituencies (approximately 1.6% of the electorate).

As a result, voter turnout and trust in our politicians is declining. Reform is desperately needed to help re-engage voters in our democracy.


Would you like to help build a better democracy?

There are plenty of ways to get involved in our work either by supporting one of our campaigns or by helping to direct the future of the Electoral Reform Society by becoming a member.
Recent News
11th April 2014
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Last week I attended two different events which discussed the possibilities a written constitution presents to Scotland. This week I am due to attend another. Scotland has already begun to think about what a constitution might look like, regardless of the result of the referendum. The debate around constitutional rights is already a separate conversation […]
24th March 2014
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