UK House of Commons: formation procedure, composition

UK House of Commons: formation procedure, composition
UK House of Commons: formation procedure, composition

The British Parliament is one of the oldest estate-representative bodies in the world. It was founded in 1265 and still exists today with minor changes. The English Parliament consists of two houses: the Commons and the Lords. The first, although it has the name of the lower one, still plays a much larger, if not decisive, role in the UK Parliament.

House of Commons

"Foremother" of representative bodies of the world

The UK Parliament is exactly what they call it. It has been functioning for almost 800 years! Just think about it! In world history, few states can boast of such a long existence. During this time, the country's parliament remained unchanged and, both in 1265 and today, consists of the lower and upper chambers, as well as the monarch. The history of the country is inextricably linked with this state body, because he (the body) ruled it. Laws and regulations, important changes are all the activities of the Parliament. It can influence public opinion as well as actionsgovernment. For several centuries of existence, the English Parliament has been the center of political life in the United Kingdom.

So is she bottom or not?

If you follow the process of political changes and the degree of influence of the chambers, it will not be difficult to come to the conclusion about the supremacy of the lower house. It is in this chamber that elections take place, applicants come to it only through the electoral system, and for the longest stay there they do a colossal job. The parliamentarians of the House of Commons are the main lawmakers of the state. They must always be on the pulse of domestic and foreign policy events in order to respond as soon as possible to various kinds of economic, political and social messages. As a result, the supremacy of this part of the parliament can be traced even with a superficial acquaintance with the functions of the class-representative body.

British Prime Minister

Formation of the House of Commons and suffrage

The British House of Commons, having the principle of election, pursues one goal. As you know, the kingdom is a two-party system. And the whole political struggle for power takes place between the two parties. As a result of elections, their representatives come to parliament. And then everything is simple: whose party will be the majority, that will rule the ball. This system has already become traditional for Great Britain with its Whigs and Tories, which today are called Liberals and Conservatives, respectively.

All citizens take part in the elections,who have reached the age of 18, residing in the territory of the district, as well as included in the registration electoral lists. These lists are compiled annually by October 10th. And on November 29, they are posted for public viewing in order to check them by the citizens themselves and possible adjustments.

It must be said that there is a system of voting by mail, as well as by proxy in cases of illness or absence in the district at the time of the election.

As in other countries, mentally ill citizens, foreign persons serving sentences for grave and especially grave crimes, persons convicted of dishonesty in elections who have not reached the age of 18, as well as peers, except Irish.

English parliament

Who can be elected to Parliament?

The House of Commons is formed by citizens who meet the norms of passive suffrage. This right is vested in all citizens who have reached the age of 21, with the exception of:

- mentally ill;

- paid judges and magistrates;

- peers and peers, with the exception of the Irish, as they do not have the right to be members of the House of Lords of the English Parliament;

- civil servants (a civil servant who wants to take part in the elections must first quit his job, and then put forward his candidacy);

- military personnel (an officer who wants to participate in elections must first resign, after which he can nominate himself);

- heads of public corporations (eg BBC);

- representatives of the clergy.

If a person does not meet the above requirements, he cannot participate in the elections. In cases where this was not discovered before the elections, the candidate may be withdrawn during the elections and even after them. Then the vacant seat is declared vacant, and elections are held again. An elected member of the House of Commons is vested with all the prescribed powers.

UK House of Commons

Deadline for empowerment

Newly elected parliamentarians are vested with rights for a period of 5 years. However, the moments of dissolution and self-dissolution should be taken into account. With regards to the first, it can be proposed by the Prime Minister of Great Britain, and the monarch, in turn, does not even have, in fact, “written” circumstances to reject his proposal. The prime minister, on the other hand, can be guided by various facts, most often this happens because of precedents within parliament. For example, after the end of World War II, the first full-term parliament was elected in 1992.

In some cases (which happens extremely rarely), the UK Parliament may announce self-dissolution or extension of its powers. With regards to the first, the last time this happened was over 100 years ago, in 1911. And speaking of renewals, they took place during the First and Second World Wars.

Composition and regional formation

The House of Commons is formed from 659 members. This figure has not always been the same, it varies depending on the growth of the population in the districts and cities of the country. For example, forOver the past 70 years, the membership of the lower house has increased by 10%.

If we consider the composition in the regional context, then the lion's share is made up of parliamentarians from England - 539 members, Scotland is represented by 61 seats, Wales - 41 and Northern Ireland - 18 seats.

The party composition is formed depending on the work done, as well as the oratory skills of nominees from districts and cities. It must be said that the struggle is quite fierce, no one wants to retreat, and most often the voices differ slightly.

parliament house of commons

Speaker of the Lower House

The House of Commons is not just a collection of MPs united by a common goal. This body has a clear hierarchy and persons performing certain duties. There are few such positions, they include the speaker with three of his deputies, the leader of the chamber, as well as the bailiff.

The speaker is one of the members of the House and is elected by his peers with the personal approval of the monarch. Usually the most authoritative member of the ruling party is elected by him, although there are exceptions. He is elected once, but he remains in his position until he loses the election or leaves of his own accord. The speaker is assigned the functions of establishing the order of speeches of deputies. It is he who has the sole right to conclude the debate. As a result, the importance and place of the speaker for the parliament of the lower house of Great Britain is inestimably high. When exercising his powers, the speaker wears a robe and a white wig. Interestingly, after the end of his term of office, heare given the title of baron, which makes him a member of the upper house.

Deputy Speaker, Leader, Clerk and Bailiff

The speaker has three deputies. The first is also the chairman of ways and means. His duty is to replace the speaker when he is absent. In cases of his absence, the powers pass to two other deputies. Three deputies are elected from among the deputies at the suggestion of the leader of the chamber.

The leader is an equally important official of the chamber. This position is not elective. The leader is appointed by the Prime Minister of Great Britain, as a rule, the choice falls on the most influential and authoritative figure in the chamber.

The functions of the secretary are entrusted to the clerk, who is given 2 assistants to help. The main function of the clerk is advice given to the speaker, the opposition, the government. As a result, he, along with the speaker and leader of the chamber, is one of the most important persons. Security in the lower house is a matter of national importance for which the bailiff is responsible.

Houses of Great Britain

Meeting space

Historically, meetings of both chambers take place in the Palace of Westminster. The green room is under the jurisdiction of the lower house, it is small in size and looks rather modest. There are benches on two opposite sides of the room. In the middle between them there is a passage. At the end of the room there is a place for the speaker's chair, in front of which there is a massive table - a place for a mace. Clerks sit at the table next to the speaker and give him advice. Deputies occupyseats on the benches for a reason: deputies from the ruling party are seated to the right of the speaker, and the opposition is to the left.

In front of the front rows of benches on each side there are red lines - these are the borders. They are located at a distance of the length of two swords from each other. MPs are not allowed to cross these lines during debates. When crossing, it is considered that the speaker wants to attack his opponent. The front seats are tacitly assigned to government ministers and opposition leaders.

Member of the House of Commons

Crowded, but not offended…

A distinctive feature of the lower house is the lack of seats. There are only 427 of them on the benches. Although it was said above that 659 deputies sit in the chamber. Thus, more than 200 people are forced to be at the entrance. From Monday to Thursday the working week lasts, sometimes meetings are held on Fridays. In cases related to a threat to national security, the deputies have only one day off - on Sunday.

Most recently, meetings were allowed to be held in another room of the palace - Westminster Hall. However, serious issues are not understood in it.

House of Commons. Elections


For the final revision and adoption of laws or bills by the House, various committees are created:

  • Permanent. They are created at the beginning of the convocation of the next parliament and operate throughout the entire period of its term. Its name does not at all imply the immutability of its composition. Committees, like the House of Commons, electionsused every time to create and review new bills.
  • Special. There are 14 special committees in the English Parliament. Their main duty is to supervise the activities of the ministries. This system was created in 1979 and is regarded as the most important reform of the century, allowing for a qualitative improvement in the work of the government.
  • Session. Some of the committees are created for a year, that is, for a session of the parliament, which is why they got their name. Basically, these are works committees, and they operate strictly within the scope of the House of Commons itself.

In addition to the three main types of committees, in some cases joint ones are established. They consist of representatives of both houses of parliament, as they affect the interests of both the communities and the lords.

Lower Chamber

Thus, the political system of the United Kingdom, developing over many centuries of its history, has come a long way. The most significant moment in its formation is the creation and evolution of the class-representative body - the parliament. As a result of the well-coordinated system of work of its chambers, the UK today is one of the leading countries in the world economy and politics. The House of Commons at the same time plays a leading role in political transformations and socio-economic changes within the state.

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