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Electoral Reform please! - Ed's journal
Electoral Reform please!
In the 2005 election, Labour got 55% of the seats in Parliament.
They did this with 35% of the votes.
On a 62% turnout.

That means that the party who have held power for the last term, have done so when 21% of the population of the UK voted for them. They got more than anyone else, so that's a good case for a leadership position, but a majority in Parliament? When 4/5 people _did not_ vote for them?

Where the Liberal Democrats received 22%, but because of the way our voting system works, ended up with 9.6% of the seats. In order to win the next election, they would need somewhere around 45% of the popular vote.

Don't get me wrong - I would quite like to see the Liberals win.
I'm not so sure they can under the current electoral system - they need to beat the other two parties by a massive margin in order to do that.

That actually is part of the reason I'm keen on electoral reform, and I make no apology - a party that polls 22% but gets 9% of the seats is a sign that something is wrong.

But in that same election - Conservative had 8.7m votes. Labour had 9.5m.
800,000 people - 2% of the population - made the difference between 356 (55%) and 198 (30%) seats in parliament.

That strikes me as a triumph of 'system' over 'democracy' personally. It needs fixing. I don't care who wins the next election, first on the agenda I want electoral reform. Sadly, I'm not sure that the party that takes power - if they get a majority - will be all that keen on doing so.
3 comments or Leave a comment
jorune From: jorune Date: April 30th, 2010 10:48 am (UTC) (Link)
I am hoping that a Con-Lib coalition or a Con minority with key Lib support on certain issues will mean that the crazy ideas of all parties are left at the door and vaguely sensible policies will result. Electoral reform chance's will depend on how well the politicians treat it.
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sobrique From: sobrique Date: May 4th, 2010 08:56 am (UTC) (Link)
I'm not sure I agree. Practically speaking, there's some places where a vote makes a difference in electoral outcome, and there's quite a few where it doesn't.
Coventry is one of the places where it'll take a significant upset in order to change the electoral outcome - it's a Labour stronghold. It would take a significant skew in order for the liberals to win it - they got 7000 votes, and Labour got 18000, out of the 40000 cast.
So practically speaking, I can vote in the next election: Labour if I want to keep them. Conservative if I don't.
Or do something else on election day, because it will make no difference to the outcome - spoil my ballot, or vote minority party, or just don't turn up, because that's all the difference it'll make.

This year, that might well be different - I think the fact that Lib Dem have become 'credible' and the election result is still pretty hard to call, means you'll get a better electoral turnout.

But still, a minority party is not going to get a look in, however much you might want them.
(Deleted comment)
sobrique From: sobrique Date: May 4th, 2010 10:10 pm (UTC) (Link)
That's actually why I'm _almost_ hoping the BNP do well.
At least then, I won't feel so bad about armed revolution.
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