27th Jun, 2019

MPs urged to support calls for vote reform

Rob George 8th May, 2018

CAMPAIGNERS for an overhaul of Britain’s ‘broken’ first past the post voting system have called on Worcester’s MP to lobby for a revamp of how the country elects its politicians locally and nationally.

Members of pressure group Make Votes Matter told Robin Walker MP the current system denies a voice to thousands of voters in Worcester and to millions across the UK and demanded it was replaced by a form of Proportional Representation (PR).

Currently, the First Past the Post system sees the party with the most MPs elected on election night forms the Government should it reach the 326 – more than half the seats available in the House of Commons.

Proportional representation is an electoral system in which the distribution of seats corresponds closely with the proportion of the total votes cast for each party.

For example, if a party gained 40 per cent of the total votes, a perfectly proportional system would allow them to gain 40 per cent of the seats.

Make Votes Matter members pointed out to Mr Walker First Past the Post usually leads to governments most people did not vote for, including the present government.

The Conservative Party and DUP received just 43 per cent of the popular vote between them while in 2015, the Green Party, the Liberal Democrats and UKIP received more than 24 per cent of the vote between them, but ended up sharing just 1.5 per cent of the seats.

During what was described as a friendly but robust exchange, Mr Walker agreed the system had its flaws.

However he added: “‘I believe the positives contained within it, particularly the maintenance of a strong constituency link, outweigh those offered by proportional representation.”

He agreed to meet with Conservative supporters of proportional representation and to take part in a public debate to be held in Worcester in the summer.

Campaign group member Marjory Bisset said: “The current FPTP system means that most votes don’t count. This is why so many people don’t vote but there are forms of PR that keep the constituency link.

“The vast majority of the countries use some form of PR.

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