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School of Politics and International Relations

Professor Philip Cowley, There’s an election to Parliament that only three people can vote in



On 19 April possibly the strangest democratic election to any legislature in the world will take place, with seven candidates competing for the votes of three people for one place in the British parliament. It’s a Liberal Democrat House of Lords hereditary by-election and it’s all a bit bizarre. “When the Lords was partially reformed in 1999, the idea was that the remaining hereditaries would be like a bit of grit in the shoe, to provide an incentive to carry on with the reform process,” explains Professor Philip Cowley. “Instead it’s become easier to limp on, enduring the grit, year after year. I don’t think anyone involved can justify it – at least not with a straight face.”
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