England and Wales

1.9From 1673 to 1832 there were 513 Members in England and Wales. Following the English Reform Act (the Representation of the People Act 1832) the number was reduced from 513 to 500. The number of knights of the shire was increased to 159. Many boroughs were disenfranchised, while new boroughs were created; after the Act the two universities and the several cities and boroughs elected 341 Members.

Further changes were made by the Representation of the People Act 1867 and the Redistribution of Seats Act 1885. Under the Representation of the People Act 1918, England and Wales returned 528 Members. This number was temporarily increased to 553 under the provisions of the House of Commons (Redistribution of Seats) Act 1944, but was reduced to 542, with provision for variation on the recommendation of the Boundary Commission, by the Representation of the People Act 1948, which abolished University representation and adjusted the boundaries of many constituencies. The number of constituencies in England and Wales following the general election of 2017 was 573.1


  1. The Parliamentary Constituencies and Assembly Electoral Regions (Wales) Order 2006 (SI 2006/1041); the Parliamentary Constituencies (England) Order 2007 (SI 2007/1681); and the Parliamentary Constituencies (England) (Amendment) Order 2009 (SI 2009/698).