Are MPs elected to exercise their own judgement or do their constituents’ bidding?

SpokeyDokey

Nearly 63 - oh dear!
Moderator
More than a slight difference in perception according to YouGov survey:


MP role-01.png


Source:

https://yougov.co.uk/topics/politics/articles-reports/2019/08/13/are-mps-elected-exercise-their-own-judgement-or-do


I would say they ought to use their own judgement as long as that squares with anything that they have said or published during their election campaign. Ditto, along with anything in the Manifesto of the Party that they represent.

With the caveat that if any of the above are clearly at odds with their constituents, then the MP should prioritise their constituents viewpoint over their own judgement. Ditto any new situations that arise within the MP's term of office.
 

Spinney

Bimbleur extraordinaire
Location
Under the Edge
Constitutionally (as far as we have one!), the MPs are correct.
The problem with the 'wishes of constituents' is that an MP can never represent ALL constituents (as they will have differing opinions) and in almost all cases have no way of knowing which of two options the majority of their constituents would want (as a party manifesto contains pledges on a lot of matters, and voting for that party does not necessarily mean that each voter agrees with all of them).
 

Spinney

Bimbleur extraordinaire
Location
Under the Edge
My MP once told me (via email, thankfully I have never met the oik face to face) that he wasn't supporting a motion about assisted dying because he was supposed to use his judgement and act in the best interests... blah, blah...

Now he tells me that he must vote to deliver Brexit, even if it's a no-deal, because that's what the people want...
 

Beebo

Firm and Fruity
Location
Hexleybeef
Constitutionally (as far as we have one!), the MPs are correct.
The problem with the 'wishes of constituents' is that an MP can never represent ALL constituents (as they will have differing opinions) and in almost all cases have no way of knowing which of two options the majority of their constituents would want (as a party manifesto contains pledges on a lot of matters, and voting for that party does not necessarily mean that each voter agrees with all of them).
Exactly, they represent all constituents, even the ones that didn’t vote for them.
Most MPs are elected on a minority of votes.
They must do what they feel is in the best interest of their constituents.
 

Joffey

Veteran
Location
Yorkshire
The 'Leave' side with this 'Will of the people' bollocks have changed public opinion. This referendum has caused so much damage to the UK for all sorts of reasons, and all so Cameron could keep UKIP from stealing their votes.

How the Tory party ever gets into power again is beyond me, but they will, because the British public are dense.
 

srw

It's a bit more complicated than that...
Hmmmmm....

Click through to the Yougov site. Fieldwork was done in June and the results are mis-stated by the graph. It's actually 13% of the public who agree with the majority of MPs. And there's no context about how the question was framed.
 
The 'Leave' side with this 'Will of the people' bollocks have changed public opinion. This referendum has caused so much damage to the UK for all sorts of reasons, and all so Cameron could keep UKIP from stealing their votes.

How the Tory party ever gets into power again is beyond me, but they will, because the British public are dense.
whilst I broadly agree I would have to add that the current labour leadership makes me despair to the extent it's not overwhelmingly clear that labour aren't just as bad. And I say that despite having been a labour party member, albeit inactive, for nearly 30 years and a labour voter for a lot longer
 

Archie_tect

De Skieven Architek... aka Penfold
Location
Northumberland
Given that only a small proportion of the population can/do vote, and that generally less than 30% of the voters vote for the elected MP that's a tiny mandate so no MP actually represents the people who live in their constituency, so.... they can never, ever represent the views of their constituents on anything.

They have to vote under direction from their party's whips so they don't even get to vote for what they want either... all in all a bit of a misnomer to call it a democracy!
 
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