Core expertise

Books 2(BrewBooks, CC by SA 2.0)

Since 1991, we have undertaken detailed studies of a number of specific aspects of democracy in the UK, including the accountability of quangos, options for electoral reform, and parliamentary oversight of foreign and security policy.

Elections provide a key focus for our work. We are regularly asked to provide comment on not only the results of elections, but also all aspects of the democratic ‘quality’ of elections, such as levels of turnout, the completeness and accuracy of electoral registers, incidences of electoral fraud, and the influence of money on electoral outcomes. In 2010, we published a series of three General Election briefings examining specific aspects of the campaign from a democratic perspective.

Our most recent work programmes have been concerned with the options for party funding reform and with the implications of the coalition government’s proposals to reduce the number of MPs from 650 to 600 and equalise the electorates of all but a few parliamentary constituencies.  During 2010, we also played a key role in forming a coalition of organisations which lobbied in support of the proposals for House of Commons reform put forward by the Wright report.