Governing the UK: The Composition of the House of Commons

These are some important political terms that should add to the accuracy of your answer(s), if used correctly.

  • Created by: Joe Brown
  • Created on: 01-06-11 08:48

A Bicameral System is one whereby before any given bill is passed as a law, two legislative houses must pass them by vote, as a check on the power of the executive. Most democracies in the world currently operate under this system, including the UK, who have the House of Commons and the House of Lords.

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A constituency is an area of land represented in the House of Commons by a Member of Parliament (MP), who is elected by the voters from that constituency.

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A constituent is a person who lives in a given constituency, and is thus represented in Parliament by the MP for said constituency.

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A general election is a national vote, where each consistency chooses by the process of election an MP to represent them and their interests; the party with the majority of elected MPs then forms a government.

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A hung parliament is an instance where no single party achieves more than 50% of the seats in the House of Commons after a general election (ie only up to 325 MPs from that party have been elected), and so one of two situations will arise:

  • The single party with the most elected MPs will rule as a minority government
  • Individual parties may decide to cooperate together, thus creating a coalition government with a total majority of MPs
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A majority government is when a single political party achieves more than 50% of the seats in the House of Commons (ie at least 326 MPs from that party have been elected), thus having sufficient MPs to form a single-party government.

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