Constitutional Reform - Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)


What is in the Government’s programme of political and constitutional reform?

The programme includes:

  • providing a referendum on whether or not to keep the existing first-past-the-post system or adopt the alternative vote, and for a review of constituency boundaries in order to create fewer and more equally sized constituencies. The referendum was held on 5 May 2011.
  • establishing fixed parliamentary terms of 5 years. The date of the next general election will be 7 May 2015;
  • taking forward reform of the House of Lords;
  • speeding up the implementation of individual electoral registration;
  • pursuing a detailed agreement on limiting donations and reforming party funding;
  • introducing a power of recall for MPs guilty of serious wrongdoing;
  • increasing transparency in lobbying, including through a statutory register;
  • considering the ‘West Lothian Question’.

The current list of issues is set out in our Structural Reform Plan


What’s been achieved so far?

In the past few months, there have been two flagship pieces of Government legislation – the Fixed-term Parliaments Bill, and the Parliamentary Voting System and Constituencies Bill, which delivered a key commitment in the Coalition programme to hold a referendum on the alternative vote and provide for the creation of fewer, more equal sized constituencies. The AV referendum was held on 5 May 2011.

Work to implement individual electoral registration is underway, as well as the establishment of a cross-party group on House of Lords reform.


Who is responsible for the political and constitutional reform programme?

The Deputy Prime Minister has special responsibility for political and constitutional reform, supported by the Minister for Political and Constitutional Reform, Mark Harper.

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