Download Elections in Britain: A Voter’s Guide by Dick Leonard, Roger Mortimore (auth.) PDF

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By Dick Leonard, Roger Mortimore (auth.)

How do British elections paintings? What approximately neighborhood elections and by-elections? How are applicants selected? What has been the effect of alterations brought by means of the current executive? How can a regular voter play his or her half? And why accomplish that few humans vote nowadays? Dick Leonard, a political journalist and previous MP, and Roger Mortimore, an opinion pollster, conceal all features of British elections during this up to date version of the normal paintings, together with entire tables of records and results.

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The Tory opposition angrily accused the Labour Party of ‘gerrymandering’, but the results of the subsequent general election showed that Labour had gained virtually no net benefit from the amendment, and that the overall 26 Elections in Britain effect of the redistribution was a Conservative gain of between 20 and 30 seats. In 1954–5 and 1982–3 members of the Labour Party, fearing that the net effect of the changes would be to their disadvantage, challenged the proposals in the courts on various grounds, but on each occasion were unsuccessful; and in 1954–5 there was also a separate unsuccessful legal challenge by Conservative Party members to some of the local proposals.

Two groups of people were particularly incensed by the effects of this second redistribution within barely five years – Members of Parliament and active party workers in the constituencies. MPs of all parties were 24 Elections in Britain agreed that the normal hazards of political life were severe enough, without adding the further hurdle of a fresh bout of redistribution every five years or so. For a stiff hurdle it proved in a number of cases: safe seats were to become marginal or even hopeless, and marginal seats might become safe for the other side.

Although the recommendations which they made were much less far-reaching than in 1948, major alterations were suggested to 172 constituencies and minor alterations to 43, with the creation of five additional seats, and they were greeted with a storm of protest. There was general agreement, with which the Commissions themselves concurred, that if redistribution had previously been too infrequent it now erred very much on the other side. Two groups of people were particularly incensed by the effects of this second redistribution within barely five years – Members of Parliament and active party workers in the constituencies.

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