Democracy and reform: what are the parties promising?

House Of Lords

Political reform is not the most exciting topic but this year a range of parties are promising big change in the way our parliament is run and elected.


On the issue of the House Of Lords, Labour have promised to remove and replace it with an elected “Senate of the Nations and Regions”. The idea behind this, they say in their manifesto, is to represent all areas from across the UK and improve democracy.

As for introducing proportional representation in any level of governance Labour make no mention of this. There is also a pledge to introduce votes at 16 in time for any elections in May 2016.

Liberal Democrats

The party is committed to reform, particularly by introducing proportional representation. The party supports the Single Transferable Vote for local elections in England and for electing MPs to parliament.

Furthermore, like Labour the party is also committed to votes at 16. They also pledge to “Reform the House of Lords with a proper democratic mandate” something they also have in common with Labour.


The SNP favour ending the House Of Lords and replacing it with an elected second chamber. Like the Liberal Democrats, the party says it supports the electoral system of STV for electing MPs and that the voting age should also be lowered to 16.

SEE ALSO: Ashcroft polls: SNP extend lead in key seats


UKIP have made some promises about reforming the UK’s voting system. In their manifesto the party has pledged to introduce a more proportional voting system, have more referenda on important issues, introduce an Open Primaries Bill, as well as introduce “real” recall powers for constituents to hold their MPs to account.

SEE ALSO: UKIP will soon make history, but will it make a difference?


The Conservatives have said in their manifesto that they will ensure that the House Of Lords keeps up its role as being a chamber of revision. The manifesto says that the party “while we still see a strong case for introducing an elected element into our second chamber, this is not a priority in the next Parliament.” As for the issue of electoral reform the party says that they will “respect the will of the British people, as expressed in the 2011 referendum, and keep First Past the Post for elections to the House of Commons.”


The Green party are in favour of reforming the House Of Lords to make it a second chamber elected on a proportional basis. The party has also promised to lower the voting age to 16.

Want to find out more?

All the manifestos containing these pledges can be accessed below:


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