Liverpool and Glasgow. 3
The ability of workers to influence parliamentary elections, of course, was
limited by the nature of the political system. As a result of the Reform Acts of 1867 and
1884 many male working-class heads of household were entitled to vote, and in some
parliamentary constituencies ‘a considerable majority of the electorate was made up of
industrial or agricultural wage-earners’. At the same time, however, ‘probably
no more than three in five of adult male wage-earners were eligible to vote in the
Frédéric Le Marcis, Luisa Enria, Sharon Abramowitz, Almudena-Mari Saez, and Sylvain Landry B. Faye
national and international response architecture also made efforts
to ensure ‘local leadership’, primarily by calling on community
leaders to mobilise their constituencies around regulations such as safe burial
practices. This required making response measures ‘palatable’ while
also enforcing more punitive containment methods ( Caremel et al. , 2017 ). The WHO (2018) has cited this ‘localisation’ of
the response as a key factor in its ultimate success. Through our ethnographic
Representational democracy is at the heart of the UK’s political constitution, and the electoral system is central to achieving it. But is the first-past-the-post system used to elect the UK parliament truly representative? To answer that question requires an understanding of several factors: debates over the nature of representation; the evolution of the current electoral system; how first-past-the-post distorts electoral politics; and how else elections might be conducted. Running through all these debates are issues over the representation not only of people but also of places. The book examines all of these issues and focuses on the effect of geography on the operation of the electoral system.
Whether called pressure groups, NGOs, social movement organisations or organised civil society, the value of ‘groups’ to the policy process, to economic growth, to governance, to political representation and to democracy has always been contested. However, there seems to be a contemporary resurgence in this debate, largely centred on their democratising potential: can groups effectively link citizens to political institutions and policy processes? Are groups an antidote to emerging democratic deficits? Or do they themselves face challenges in demonstrating their legitimacy and representativeness? This book debates the democratic potential and practice of groups, focusing on the vibrancy of internal democracies, and modes of accountability with those who join such groups and to the constituencies they advocate for. It draws on literatures covering national, European and global levels, and presents empirical material from the UK and Australia.
8 Colne Valley
It is common in the biographies and autobiographies of politicians with a
national profile to make only a handful of passing references to their constituency; the people who send politicians to Parliament are too often regarded as
incidental to the things those politicians do once there.1 No serious account
of Wainwright’s life could give other than a vital role to his constituency, for
he chose it as much as it chose him, and both sides of the relationship were
strengthened by it.
All constituencies can claim to be distinctive, but Colne Valley
‘allow’ groups to fall ‘short’ of representational conditions by design?
Even where groups do have internal democratic procedures for electing leaders and setting group positions, there is also a degree of ambiguity over who should be enfranchised. The presumption in the representation frame is that affiliates are enfranchised as ‘members’. But, in the same breath, scholars question the authenticity of some groups – arguing that they try to advocate for constituencies without actually enfranchising them. So, at a minimum, to restore some
Consolidating the system: 1930–2010
Over just under a century, the United Kingdom moved from a democracy in which very few individuals, all male, had the right to vote to
one with universal adult franchise. That expansion, confined to just
four major legislative events, was accompanied by major changes to
the country’s electoral map, not least by the shift to single-member
constituencies and the rules devised for alterations to their location
and boundaries– what became known as redistributions.
Each of those four redistributions was an ad hoc exercise
Parliament in 1839, 1842 and 1848, included calls for: universal adult male franchise; equal-sized constituencies according to
their number of electors; and a secret ballot. The third was achieved in
1883, and the second in 1918– with universal adult franchise a decade
later. But it was not until 2011 that legislation to ensure (more or less)
equal-sized constituencies was put in place.2 The next three chapters
tell the story of the move towards that end.3
Though other parliaments can claim earlier origins (Iceland’s Althingi
and the Isle of Man
and forming a single-party
government. So they focused on how the current system could be
reformed to remove some of the party’s disadvantage, and in particular on removing differences in constituency electorates; in 2001,
for example, the seats they won averaged 72,138 registered electors
compared to 67,544 in Labour-won seats.
The case was argued by Andrew Tyrie MP,1 who realised that ‘if
we are to have disruptive boundary changes [a reference to the Fifth
Periodic Review, then in progress], we should at least move towards the
benefits of a smaller, more
which older people’s interest organisations seek to represent, how they strive to work
with and represent this constituency and the factors which facilitate and inhibit this
work. Focusing on the notion of collective identity or identity politics it also explores
whether identity formation is consolidated or defined in older people’s interest organisations and the implications of this for the organisation of older people’s interests.
The findings in this chapter emerge from the interviews and focus groups conducted
with the directors, staff and members of ten