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Representing Europe's Citizens?Electoral Institutions and the Failure of Parliamentary Representation$
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David M. Farrell and Roger Scully

Print publication date: 2007

Print ISBN-13: 9780199285020

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2007

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199285020.001.0001

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Electoral Reform and the British MEP

Electoral Reform and the British MEP

(p.139) 7 Electoral Reform and the British MEP
Representing Europe's Citizens?

David M. Farrell

Roger Scully

Oxford University Press

The electoral system used in Britain for EP elections was changed radically in 1999, the SMP system being replaced by a PR, regional closed-list system. This change represented a very rare case of fundamental electoral reform in an established democratic political system, and by far the most substantial electoral reform ever introduced for EP elections. This chapter outlines the precise nature of the change instituted in 1999, elucidating the differences between the two electoral systems, outlining how key features of the new system can be expected to have an impact on the nature of the representative process, and tracing the immediate consequences of reform for the social and political representativeness of the British cohort of MEPs. The chapter then examines some survey evidence on the differences in attitudes to representation among MEPs that were produced by the new electoral system.

Keywords:   MEP, UK, representative democracy, electoral reform, representation, EP, electoral systems, constituency

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