MPs on reform

Frequently asked questions

The data used on the map is compiled primarily from correspondence between constituents and their elected MPs. We have also included MPs who voted recently in Parliament in favour of adopting proportional representation (during Jonathan Reynold MP's ten minute rule motion in December 2015), as well as MPs who have made clear their position on the issue in public speeches or articles. If your MP is not listed, you can get in touch with them and share a copy of their response with us. Even if they are already listed on the map, it is important to write to them to let them know you are not satisfied with our present electoral system.

The data used on the map is compiled primarily from correspondence between constituents and their elected MPs. We have also included MPs who voted recently in Parliament in favour of adopting proportional representation (during Jonathan Reynold MP's ten minute rule motion in December 2015), as well as MPs who have made clear their position on the issue in public speeches or articles. If your MP is not listed, you can get in touch with them and share a copy of their response with us. Even if they are already listed on the map, it is important to write to them to let them know you are not satisfied with our present electoral system.

Most of the MPs' quotes are taken from their replies to letters sent by constituents. In many cases MPs - particularly from MPs opposing PR - replied using wholly or partly identical text, presumably provided by a central office. To an extent, this undermines the defense of FPTP that there is a strong, personal constituency link between an MP and the people whose concerns she is supposed to represent. By contrast, a multi-member system of proportional representation would mean that most people had a representative in their local area who shares their views and concerns - making it far more likely that a constituent could contact a representative who will properly consider any issue they wish to raise. Click here to see the standard templates many Conservatives used to respond to their constituents.

Most of the MPs' quotes are taken from their replies to letters sent by constituents. In many cases MPs - particularly from MPs opposing PR - replied using wholly or partly identical text, presumably provided by a central office. To an extent, this undermines the defense of FPTP that there is a strong, personal constituency link between an MP and the people whose concerns she is supposed to represent. By contrast, a multi-member system of proportional representation would mean that most people had a representative in their local area who shares their views and concerns - making it far more likely that a constituent could contact a representative who will properly consider any issue they wish to raise.

Click here to see the standard templates many Conservatives used to respond to their constituents.

Many MPs who are opposed to PR claim that it would inevitably damage the link between them and their constituents, whose interests they represent. In reality, there are a number of systems of PR that keep or even improve this link. The Additional Member System (AMS) maintains the present principle of one-MP-to-one-constituency, while using top-up lists to ensure that the share of seats a party wins matches the share of the vote the people give them. Systems like the Single Transferable Vote (STV) use multi-member constituencies - meaning that (for example) five MPs are elected to represent a given area. One advantage of this is that many more people than at present have a local representative who is sympathetic to their views who they can approach with their concerns. For more information see our voting systems page.

Many MPs who are opposed to PR claim that it would inevitably damage the link between them and their constituents, whose interests they represent. In reality, there are a number of systems of PR that keep or even improve this link. The Additional Member System (AMS) maintains the present principle of one-MP-to-one-constituency, while using top-up lists to ensure that the share of seats a party wins matches the share of the vote the people give them. Systems like the Single Transferable Vote (STV) use multi-member constituencies - meaning that (for example) five MPs are elected to represent a given area. One advantage of this is that many more people than at present have a local representative who is sympathetic to their views who they can approach with their concerns.

For more information see our voting systems page.

No. The UK has never had a referendum on whether to change to a proportional voting system. The system put forward in the 2011 referendum was the Alternative Vote. This is not a proportional system, and shares the problems caused by disproportionality which afflict First Past the Post. David Cameron himself stated on one occasion: “I'm here today to explain as clearly as I can why AV is completely the wrong reform…let me take on this myth that AV is more fair and more proportional than the system we have currently”. As such, the outcome of the 2011 referendum did not indicate a rejection of, or indeed any comment upon, proportional electoral systems by the electorate.

No. The UK has never had a referendum on whether to change to a proportional voting system. The system put forward in the 2011 referendum was the Alternative Vote. This is not a proportional system, and shares the problems caused by disproportionality which afflict First Past the Post. David Cameron himself stated on one occasion: “I'm here today to explain as clearly as I can why AV is completely the wrong reform…let me take on this myth that AV is more fair and more proportional than the system we have currently”. As such, the outcome of the 2011 referendum did not indicate a rejection of, or indeed any comment upon, proportional electoral systems by the electorate.