May 14th, 2006

First past the post

With David Cameron riding high, will he win the next election? In the 2005 general election, each party needed dramatically different numbers of voters for each seat it won. They weren’t that far apart in votes cast, but miles apart in seats won.

Party

Seats

Votes

%vote

% seats

Votes / seat

Labour

356

9,566,618

35.2%

55.1%

26,873

Conservative

198

8,785,941

32.4%

30.7%

44,373

Lib Dem

62

5,985,414

22.0%

9.6%

96,539

All others

30

2,809,358

10.3%

4.6%

93,645

Total

646

27,147,331

100%

100%

42,024

At the next election a hung parliament is a possibility – perhaps that will be what we need to have a change of electoral system. We have to get closer to PR, without ending up like Italy.How can anyone possibly call this fair? The worst injustice was done to UKIP – with 605,973 votes and no seats. This would be enough votes for 22 Labour seats. I have no brief for UKIP at all, but they do reflect a particular view in Britain that is seeking representation.

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