Background: Democracy in Britain

There are currently 650 constituencies in the UK, giving the same number of Members of Parliament (MPs). These constituencies vary in size. The largest has over 100,000 people who can vote; the smallest has fewer than 30,000. Most, however, have an electorate of between 60,000 and 75,000. On the day of a general election, there is an election in each of these constituencies. These general elections are held every five years on the first Thursday in May.

Read more in Access to English: Social Studies, pp. 131-138. Then work with the tasks in the textbook and on this website.

The Houses of Parliament, London


How the General Election works

General elections on Britain explained in nearly sixty seconds.

How Parliament works

Quick explanation of the functions of the UK Parliament.