How easy ought it to be to enact constitutional amendment? In the absence of constitutionally prescribed procedures, fundamental reforms in the UK can often appear hurried, under-consultative and controlled by transient political majorities. In the recent referendum on Scottish independence, the NO campaign's promise of additional powers to Holyrood in the face of a possible ‘Yes’ vote appears to fit this pattern (even if, for reasons of political sensitivity, it was not driven directly by members of the Coalition government). A recent sample of concluded constitutional reforms, including the Constitutional Reform Act 2005, the Constitutional Reform and Governance Act 2010 and the Fixed-term Parliaments Act 2011, have drawn criticism from within Westminster on the grounds of defective process. Specific options to improve pre-parliamentary and parliamentary stages of constitutional reform have been proposed with a view to attaining principled procedures of constitutional reform removed from executive control that signal attachment to process values such as wide and effective consultation, deliberation outside and inside Parliament, and informed scrutiny. The foregoing prescriptions for remedying defective processes may, however, be said in the ultimate analysis to retain a normative preference for a more formal, elite-managed vision of constitutional change that is premised upon a limited conception of the citizens' ‘informed consent’. In any case, in purely descriptive terms, top-down managed change does not capture the totality of patterns of past constitutional reform in the UK. In the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, for example, radical grassroots campaigns for the extension of the franchise resulted ultimately in universal adult suffrage. More recently, the Scotland Act 1998 can be seen as the culmination of a civic society–led, deliberative engagement with ordinary voters over decades that offered an alternative vision of ‘bottom-up’ constitutional reform to that seen in more formal, elite-led processes of constitutional reform. The inclusive and participatory nature of the campaign for Scottish devolution marked out a radically different model of constitutional reform to that which has typified Westminster-style amendment and which is still largely directed by political elites. In such circumstances as prevail currently at Westminster, it is difficult to give much credence to claims that the outcomes of constitutional reform processes enjoy the ‘informed consent’ of the people.