4 thoughts on “electoral reform, anyone?

  1. Probably a bit of a dumb question, but why is it that the number of seats is not proportional to the number of votes?

  2. It’s the ‘first past the post’ electoral system. Key features: each constituency elects one Member of Parliament, and within each constituency, the candidate with more votes than the next most popular candidate wins. So, you see, with three candidates who are all more or less as popular as each other, you could end up with the following vote distribution: A gets 100 votes, B gets 99 votes, and C gets 98 votes. A wins the seat outright. If you repeat that all over the country, you get A’s party with a massive majority despite having only 33.7% of the vote.

    And that’s if the constituencies are all the same size – see the comments on this thread, too https://feministphilosophers.wordpress.com/2010/05/08/uk-electoral-reform-demand-it/ – if your supporters are evenly spread all over the country, where other parties have strong support in some constituencies and none in others, you’ll do even worse.

    we’re very committed to this system here in the UK, because, you see, it delivers decisive results which give rise to strong governments…

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