Members of Parliament are elected for defined constituencies. As we saw in Chapter 9, constituents expect them to give priority to local concerns and an increasing amount of time is devoted by members to constituency casework. However, members also devote considerable time to listening to, and expressing the demands of, different interests in society. Citizens with shared interests have increasingly come together to form organized bodies — interest groups — to defend or advance their policy preferences (Grant 2000; Coxall 2001; Watts 2007; see also Jordan and Maloney 2007). Some groups may be composed of a member’s constituents: a local charity or the local chamber of commerce, for example. Others may have no direct constituency connection but believe they have a case that will engage the MP’s attention.
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