We need to reform our electoral system.

We need to have an end to Victorian Voting!

 

There is no greater gamble on earth than a British general election"
James Middleton, Secretary of the Labour Party 1936

 

The 2019 General Election results provided further evidence that our antiquated “First-past-the-post” voting system is not fit for purpose. Signing away your democratic rights with the mark of illiteracy in single member constituencies enables MPs to be elected on a small fraction of the vote.

 

In this election, one third of the MPs were elected on a minority of the vote. This means that the votes of millions of voters will have counted for nothing. Moreover, seats won by a party do not necessarily reflect the level of support nationwide for that party, nor are outcomes consistent or certain; votes determine the result of an election according to where they are cast, not for whom they are cast. Because of this, it is possible for a party to win the most seats nationwide with a minority of the vote.

 

In this election, Boris Johnson's so-called landslide was achieved on just 44% of the vote; 56% of those who voted did not support his party.

 

First-past-the-post has also weakened the Union by distorting the results in favour of the nationalist parties. North of the Border, the Scottish Nationalists took 81% of the seats for just 45% of the vote, while in Northern Ireland, Unionists were awarded fewer seats than the Nationalists, even though they had polled more votes.

 

The following table summarizes the UK's general election results since 2005, with some of the major disparities highlighted:-

 

 

2005

2010

2015

2017

2019

%Votes

%Seats

%Votes

%Seats

%Votes

%Seats

%Votes

%Seats

%Votes

%Seats

Con

32.3

30.6

36.1

47.2

36.9

50.9

42.4

48.9

43.6

56.2

Labour

35.3

55.1

29.0

39.7

30.4

35.7

40.0

40.3

32.2

31.2

LibDem

22.1

9.6

23.0

8.8

7.9

1.2

7.4

1.8

11.5

1.7

UKIP

2.2

0

3.1

0

12.6

0.1

1.8

0

0.1

0.0

Brexit

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2.0

0.0

Green

1.0

0

1.0

0.1

3.8

0.1

1.6

0.1

2.7

0.1

 

Note in particular how our outdated voting system gave Labour 55% of the seats and absolute power with just 35% of the vote in 2005 and how, ten years later, the Conservatives were able to form a majority government on just under 37% of the vote.

 

And that's just the half of it: First-past-the-post wastes a phenomenal number of votes: 45% of all the votes cast in the 2019 General Election were for losing candidates, and a further 26% of the vote was ineffectively piled up as majorities which were surplus to the winning candidates' requirements. This means that our voting system is only 29% efficient.

 

There is no rhyme or reason to First-past-the-post. You might as well throw dice. But why is this, exactly? This website endeavours to take you through the mechanical deficiencies of First-past-the-post and show how a new way of voting would uprate the efficiency of our voting apparatus.

 

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© David Green