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In the United Kingdom, a political surgery is a series of one-to-one meetings that a member of parliament may have with his or her constituents. A typical constituency has in the order of 75k residents. Are there any statistics on the contact rate of such surgeries? What fraction of the population has ever visited such a surgery? Is it a small active group that visits surgeries frequently, or are there rather many people that occasionally reach out to their MP and visit the surgery?

  • there was a Channel 5 series MPs Behind closed doors, but it gives annecdotes not stats – James K Jan 18 '19 at 22:02
  • The surgery isn't the only avenue for MPs to interact with constituents. – James Jun 25 '19 at 11:37
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As an example, consider the MP for Croydon central.

She holds weekly surgeries, for two hours, 20 minutes per consultation. So she can see a maximum of 6 people per week, 300 people per year.

It is likely that not all the surgery slots are fully booked, so you may want to estimate a lower value than this. Moreover, some people will be "return customers". So let us estimate 150 individuals per MP per year.

Croydon central is a fairly typical outer London constituency. Not all MPs continue to hold surgeries. But extrapolating from this single data point one might expect 10000--100000 people to visit an MP's surgery in the course of a year, or about 0.1% of the UK population.

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