The main purpose of this paper is to introduce a method to “stabilise” certain spaces of homomorphisms from finitely generated free abelian groups to a Lie group G, namely Hom(ℤ
, G). We show that this stabilised space of homomorphisms decomposes after suspending once with “summands” which can be reassembled, in a sense to be made precise below, into the individual spaces Hom(ℤ
, G) after suspending once. To prove this decomposition, a stable decomposition of an equivariant function space is also developed. One main result is that the topological space of all commuting elements in a compact Lie group is homotopy equivalent to an equivariant function space after inverting the order of the Weyl group. In addition, the homology of the stabilised space admits a very simple description in terms of the tensor algebra generated by the reduced homology of a maximal torus in favorable cases. The stabilised space also allows the description of the additive reduced homology of the individual spaces Hom(ℤ
, G), with the order of the Weyl group inverted.