Proportional Representation

From a political perspective, what is the best way forward for voting and representation? “First Past the Post” does not seem to be the fairest solution. Click here for an example of one particular issue we are not focusing on today. What should or could replace it?

In 2015, the House of Commons is a very poor representation of the political mindset of the United Kingdom.

When you consider the fact that in 2015, the UKIP party received one in every seven votes cast, but won only a single seat in the House of Commons, one has to consider the fairness of such a system when we compare their result to that of the Scottish National Party, who received only 1.27 million votes to return 49 politicians to parliament. See the graphic below.

Votes per seat, General Election 2015
SNP 25,970
Conservative (England) 32,900
Labour (England) 39,300
Lib Dem (England) 349,000
Scottish Conservative 434,000
Scottish Labour 707,100
Green 1.1 million
UKIP 3.8 million

We have fed the above numbers into the d’Hondt method of counting votes, the variant of PR used to elect UK MEP’s to the European Parliament. This type of PR is widely used in parliamentary elections across Europe and elsewhere, though there are many other systems, like the alternative Vote model rejected by British voters in the 2011 referendum.

From a votes-per-seat basis, the above graphic looks neither fair nor robust, and for the future of the country, we would have to question if the system is robust enough to cope with a more democratic representational system.

As the third-largest party, the SNP is technically entitled to all manner of places on select committees – even chairmanships – presiding over English matters. They get to call two questions in PMQ’s. Yet this power and might will completely fail to recognise the presence of Scottish unionists (half of Scotland’s population is now represented by just three MPs) or the 1-in-7 English voters who chose Ukip.

The percentage of vote sharing for the parties is as such:

Party % Seats Prop Diff
Conservatives 36.9% 331 240 -91
Labour 30.4 232 197 -35
SNP 4.7 56 30 -26
Lib Dem 7.9 8 51 +43
Ukip 12.6 1 83 +82
Other 7.5 22 49 +27

As you can see from the Proportional Representational system, the vote split would be much fairer and more representative of the population’s political wishes.

We are also taking into account the need for parties that are generally not in the best interests of the entire country, and who have marginal representation at best, but who also offer an important lesson in political thinking that is currently missing from our bi-party position.

Without conflict, there is no movement forward, and no catalyst for change. We would welcome the efforts of those parties whose ideas conflict with the mainstream politics, as it is these parties that will enable us to hold multiple perspectives, decide which way is best for us, and ultimately allow for a more non-partisan way forward.

There are other systems for voting out there, and if you would like your say on how your government is elected, then it should be made into a discussion for all, and in the true democratic method, we should vote for how we want to vote! See here for the alternative voting systems available.

A final question to ask yourself: if the voting system were to change in the future, what effect on one’s voting strategy would it have in the short term? Would there be a need for strategic voting in order to ensure one party does not get in, rather than one party does? Would it affect the way a section of the voters would vote differently to another sector? Would it ensure the rich and the poor had an equal say in the outcome, as well as an equal representation so no individual were unfairly represented?
What would test the limits of the system in the future? How can we test them now without affecting the political system negatively?

If you agree that a more fair system for future voting would be a representational one, then join us today!