Britain’s voting system, not fit for purpose?

Back in the last century, during the emergence of the Liberal Democrats – many of the key players in the party and their supporters were saying that Britain should adopt the Proportional Representation system similar to that in most other European countries and move away from First Past The Post.  The then two leading parties of Conservatives and Labour said there was nothing wrong with the current system, which was of little surprise since they both benefited from the FPTP, and that moving to PR would lead to hung parliaments, famine, pestilence, war and the end of the world as we know it.

So, we stuck with FPTP.

Following the recent election, it clearly shows that FPTP does not work.  For example,

UKIP got in total some 3,881,099 votes.  This got them a single seat.

Now that’s actually 10,801 more votes than the combined number of votes for both the Liberal Democrats and the Scottish National Party, who have a total of 64 seats.

Or put it another way they had 3 times the number of votes the Green Party got, yet the same number of seats.

Or another way is to say an independent got in with just 98,711 votes yet the Green Party needed almost 12 times that number of votes to get a single seat, or UKIP had almost 40 times that number of votes for a single seat.

Plaid Cymru had more votes than Sinn Fein, yet get a seat less, and at least Plaid Cymru actually turn up for the job in Westminster, where as Sinn Fein have traditionally not gone to Parliament.

One of the arguments for the FPTP system, is that if gives you a local MP, well as many now know ‘local’ is a somewhat vague term.  After all, buying a house in the area, and then a second house/home in London where you spend most of the time in hardly makes you a local.

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