HOUSE OF COMMONS
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The House of Commons is the lower house in the bicameral parliament of Serpens Land. It meets in the Serpens Land Parliament Building located in Fort Charlotte.
The House of Commons is an elected house made up of 230 members known as members of Parliament (MPs). Members are elected by their constituents within their local constituency using the First Past the Post voting system.
Name of Political Party
No. of Seats
█ Liberal Conservative Party
█ Labour Party
Marcus Le Blanche
█ Serpens Land First
█ Reform Party
█ Green Party
█ Erodesian Unionists
Relationship with His Majesty's Government
Although the monarch can techniaclly appoint anyone to the role of prime minister, by convention the House of Commons is the house that elects the prime minister and forms government. The prime minister is answerable to the House of Commons, and must always maintain it's support. When the position of prime minister becomes vacant the monarch appoints the person most likley to maintain support of the House of Commons, usually the leader of the party with the most seats.
The House of Commons can indicate it's lack of support for the government by passing a motion of no confidence. Once a prime minister loses support of the house, he or she can request the monarch to dissolve parliment in order to call an election. He or she may also resign so the monarch can appoint another MP who can gain confidence of the house.
The party with the most seats in the House of Commons is the party that forms government. If no party is able to form government, a snap election may be called. Two or more parties may enter a coalition or a confidence and supply agreement in order to gain a majority (116 seats) in the house. Government can still be formed if a party has the most seats, but does not have the majority of the seats in parliament. This is called a minority government. Minority governments are not ideal, as the house can lose confidence at any time.
At the beginning of a new parliamentary term, the House of Commons elects a presiding officer known as the speaker. If the incumbent speaker decides to run for another term, the House of Commons may decide to re-elect him or her. If the speaker decides not to be re-elected, a secret ballot is held to elect a new speaker. A new speaker must seek permission from the sovereign before he or she takes office, although new speakers are usually approved without hassle. Speakers are elected from within the house of commons and are usually current MPs. When a new speaker is elected, he or she renounces his or her seat in parliament, and a by-election is held in his or her former constituency to elect a new MP to the House of Commons.
The speaker sits in a chair at the end of the house. It is his or her job to maintain order in the house. The speaker usually doesn't vote or debate in the House of Commons, but can vote if a tie breaker is needed.
The House of Commons sits in the Buildings of Parliament in Serpens Land's capital city, Fort Charlotte. The House of Commons chamber is mostly decorated with green furnishing. In the centre, there is an isle separating benches on both sides of the house. This arrangement reflects the British House of Commons, which the Serpens Land House of Commons derrives most of it's procedures from. Although there are 230 elected members of parliament, it's benches can only seat around 150 people. When all members are required to sit in parliament, members (usually more junior members) sit in the stairs between benches, and in the public viewing areas.
Members of parliament making up the Government sit to the right of the speaker, while members of the opposition sit to the left. Members of the prime minister and the cabinet as well as the leader of the opposition and the shadow cabinet occupy the benches closest to the central isle and are known as frontbenchers. Other members occupy the benches farther away from the central isle, and are known as backbenchers.
Every member of parliament represents a local constituency in the House of Commons. Serpens Land is divided in 230 constituencies. When the boundaries of constituencies need to be redrawn, it is done by an independent body known as the Electoral Boundaries Commission. Each constituency represents around 100,000 people.
Customarily, elections are held every four years, but can be called whenever parliament is dissolved by the monarch. The sitting prime minister usually advises the monarch when to dissolve parliament, but the monarch has the power to refuse a request to dissolve parliament in situations such as times of crisis. Once parliament is dissolved, the election campaign begins. Campaigns are usually around 40-50 days long, but there is no official limit. During election campaigns, candidates are appointed to run for each constituency and party leaders travel across the country making speeches and attending conferences. The larger parties usually nominate candidates in all 230 constituencies. Smaller parties sometimes do not run in every constituency. Regional parties such as the Erodesian Unionists only run candidates in their region, with the Erodesian Unionists only running candidates in Northland and Camridia.
Most candidates are a member of a political party, but it is possible to run as an independent. During campaigns, candidates also put up election posters in their respective constituencies. Election posters usually display the candidates name, and their party, as well as slogans or mottoes representing the candidate. On election day, each constituency holds it's own election, with the winner of the most votes representing his or her constituency in parliament.
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