How Effective Are Backbench Mps?

How effective are backbench MPs?
The role of backbench MPs is often seen as coinciding with the role of the House of Commons as a whole. These roles include representing the views and interests of their constituents, debating issues in the Commons, working on select committees and public bill committees, calling ministers and the government to account and developing private member’s legislation.
Backbench MPs are primarily elected representatives, representing the views and interests of their constituents. It is argued that this is done effectively, as MPs are voted for in general elections and therefore publicly accountable to those who voted for them. The ‘First-past-thepost’ system used means that there is a link between the MP and their constituency, and this helps to ensure that constituents’ interests and concerns are properly considered and addressed. More generally, backbench MPs also provide a link between the government of the day and public opinion, assuring that the changing views of the government reflect those changes in the interests of the public. However, the effectiveness of representation through backbench MPs has been criticized, as MPs are generally unrepresentative of larger society, thus undermining descriptive representation. In the House of Commons currently, the average age of an MP is 50 and there are only 147 women MPs, 23%, compared with 50% in society. Also, only 4% of MPs are ethnic minorities and 90% went to university, compared with 21% of the adult population. Therefore, it is questioned as to whether backbench MPs can fully represent citizens if they cannot relate to them, or are descriptively reflective of them. Also- confliction between representing party or constituents.
Secondly, backbenchers are effective in scrutinising the government and calling ministers to account because of their work on select committees. Select committees scrutinise the different departments of government, looking in detail at how each department is...