Parliamentary elections ('General Elections') are held at least every five years, with the next one scheduled for Thursday 8th May 2017. The electoral system for Parliamentary elections is called 'First Past The Post'.
North Hertfordshire is split across three Parliamentary constituencies, each represented by one MP.
Our first constituency is Hitchin and Harpenden. This spans Cadwell, Graveley, Hitchin, Hitchwood, Hoo, Kimpton, Offa, and Wymondley, as well as several wards in the City of St Albans. Although Hitchin on its own was once the constituency of Dame Shirley Williams (one of the 'Gang of Four' who helped to set up the Liberal Democrats) it has been in Conservative hands since 1974, when Parliamentary boundaries were redrawn. The constituency was been represented for 20 years by Peter Lilley, one of only three MPs to vote against the Climate Change Act in 2008. Lilley also made the notorious "I've got them on my list" speech to the 1992 Conservative Party Conference. In 2017, Lilley was replaced by Bim Afolami, another Conservative.
Our second constituency is North East Hertfordshire. This spans Arbury, Baldock, Ermine, Letchworth, Royston, Weston, and Sandon, as well as several wards in the District of East Hertfordshire. Since 1997, North East Hertfordshire has been represented in Parliament by Sir Oliver Heald MP, a former lawyer, and a vociferous opponent of House of Lords reform.
Our third constituency in Stevenage. This spans Codicote and Knebworth, as well as the Borough of Stevenage, and a few wards from the District of East Hertfordshire. Stevenage is a marginal seat, considered to be something of a "bellweather". It switched from Conservative to Labour in 1997, but returned to Conservative hands in 2010, when it was won by Stephen McPartland.
The Liberal Democrats famously went from 57 MPs in 2010, to just eight MPs in 2015, however the party increased that number by 50% in 2017 to end up with 12. There are also a sizeable number of Lib Dem Peers. Unlike the other major parties, the Liberal Democrats are committed to introducing proportional representation for UK General Elections, as well as creating a directly elected alternative to the House of Lords.