Feautures of UK democracy

Outlines and discusses features of democracy.

HideShow resource information

Features of UK democracy.


  • Elections
    • Free and fair, universal suffrage + electoral choice.
  • Parliament
  • Pressure Groups
  • Referendums
  • Devolution
1 of 6


1. Elections:

a) Free and Fair:

+ One person, one vote.

+ Electoral Commission (protects public confidence).

- FPTP is unfair; plurality rule, wasted votes & tactical voting.

b) Universal suffrage:

- Prisoners/mentall incapable/House of Lords members can't vote.

c) Electoral choice:

- 2 party system in Westmister elections between Lab and Cons.

2 of 6


2. Parliament

+ Links govt to people.

+ MPs represent constituencies.

+ House of Commons - debating chamber of nation.

+ Deliberative democracy (pulicinterest decided through debates).

- House of Lords unelected.

3 of 6

Pressure Groups

3. Pressure Groups

+ Political voice to minorities.

+ Citizens can exert influence between elections.

- Power lies with wealthy, large PGs and business groups.

- Ignore parliament and go straight to govt (weakens role of elected MPs).

- Unelected, unaccountable leaders.

4 of 6


4. Referendums.

+ Form of direct democracy.

+ Vote on specific issue.

Important: 1975 referendum on continued membership of European Community (aka EU).

- Irresponsible govt (hand decisions over to electorate but govt are elected to make policy decisions).

- Strengthens govt (they decide when & where its held).

5 of 6


5. Devolution

created in 1998 (Scottish Parliament, Welsh Assembly & Northern Ireland Assembly).

+ Constituent nations given own political voice.

+ Increase political participation and education.

- Major economic and foreign policy decisions still made at Westminster.

- Devolution not advanced democracy in England where 84% of UK population live.

6 of 6


Hannah bayfield


representative is spelt incorrectly.

also, this is wrong. A referendum is a feature of direct democracy rather than representative democracy.



Oops, sorry for that careless mistake. I've corrected it now. But thank you for pointing that out though! :)

Similar Government & Politics resources:

See all Government & Politics resources »See all UK pressure groups and protest movements resources »