What is a constituency?

Where is your part to play in UK politics, and who decides which political region you’re in?

What is a constituency?

The UK currently consists of 650 constituencies. Each constituency votes for one representative or Member of Parliament (MP). These MPs then have a seat in Parliament to represent their constituency in political debates and votes. The House of Commons is where all MPs across the UK meet to have such debates.

MPs and Constituencies are linked in representation, this means that the MP should provide a good overview of the opinions of each constituent.

How are constituencies allocated?

Constituencies are allocated by independent Boundary Commissions, which aim to ensure each constituency has the same number of votes. This is done using the electorate quota which shows the average number of voters each constituency should have if all UK voters were to be distributed evenly between them.

In 2023, a boundary review was conducted, being far stricter than previous ones. Constituencies must now be within 5% of the ‘electoral quota’ – now set at 73,393 registered voters per constituency - with just a few exceptions. This means that each Constituency should have 73,393 registered voters, with 5% leeway in both directions (between 69,724 and 77,062 voters). This is to ensure that there is no disparity in voters between the constituencies. 

Why do constituencies matter in General Elections?

Constituencies matter in general elections because they offer a definitive distinction between where constituents reside and determine which candidate they will vote for. 

Additionally, constituencies ensure that a clear link is established between constituents and their representatives in the House of Commons. This should ensure the MP is able to effectively represent the views and opinions of local residents on the national stage. 

How do you find out which Constituency you’re in?

To find out or confirm which Constituency you are in, search “Which constituency am I in?” or visit Constituencies - MPs and Lords - UK Parliament. Entering your City/Towns’ name or your postcode will display which constituency you’re in, as well as details boundaries between each constituency. 

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Harrison Ricketts

Harrison Ricketts

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