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The Role of the Member of Parliament Since
1868From Gentlemen to Players$
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Michael Rush

Print publication date: 2001

Print ISBN-13: 9780198275770

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198275770.001.0001

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The Socio-Economic Transformation of the House of Commons

The Socio-Economic Transformation of the House of Commons

(p.76) 4 The Socio-Economic Transformation of the House of Commons
The Role of the Member of Parliament Since 1868

Michael Rush

Oxford University Press

This chapter shows that although the party composition of the House of Commons chan change suddenly, its socio-economic composition tends to change slowly. Changes of party composition are exaggerated by the electoral system: even a small swing can make a significant difference, ousting a government and usually bringing the main opposition party to power; a large swing will produce a landslide in seats, if not in votes. Such changes may make the Commons more conservative or more radical in its attitude towards the way it works and the role of its members and large turnovers of membership sometimes have a profound impact on the socio-economic composition of the House.

Keywords:   Parliament, parliamentary government, House of Commons, Labour Party, Liberal Party, socio-economic composition, MPs

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