A new report out by the Electoral Reform Society has torn into Britain’s antiquated First Past The Post system, with ERS Chief Exec Darren Hughes insisting: “For the third time in a row, Westminster’s voting system has failed to do what it says on the tin – produce a ‘strong and stable’ government.”
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The Electoral Reform Society insist, amongst other things, that 22 million votes were wasted at the election, that 0.0016% of voters switching their allegiance would have given the Conservatives a majority and that the current system of First Past The Post gave a massively disproportionate outcome.
For instance, the Conservatives received 34% of the vote in the North East of England but 9% of seats whilst Labour got 29% of the vote in the South East of England but only won 10% of the seats.
Had a much more proportional system like the Additional Member System been used to elects MPs in Westminster – as it is for the London Assembly, Welsh Assembly and Scottish Parliament – even on the back of a poor performance, UKIP would have seen 11 MPs elected rather than 0, giving a wider spectrum of voters a voice in the House of Commons.
First Past The Post’s selling point was always that it was built to delivered majorities. It didn’t in 2010, it hasn’t in 2017, and it is surely time for it to go.