A vote fair for all?

As we rummage through the debris of the General Election, trying to work if absolutely everybody or absolutely nobody actually won, some disturbing statistics appear. How about these?

In Wales, the Labour Party got 531 thousand votes which won them 26 seats.

The Conservative party got 382 thousand votes - 7 for every 10 Labour got. For that, they got 8 seats.

What? How does that work? But wait, there's some even harder maths to do here:

In Scotland, the Labour Party got 1.03 million votes, which gave them a thumping 41 seats

The Conservative Party got a bit less than half of that - 412 thousand votes - which got them .. err ... 1 seat

What the fuck?

One more set of stats: in England the Tories got 297 seats, while Labour and the LibDems combined only managed 234.


(tip of the hat to Ma Dale for the figures - blame him if they're wrong)


Old Holborn said...


Now or never

Quiet_Man said...

It's down to the size of the constituencies and the number of votes polled for each candidate. PR would give a different set of results, however if they aren't tied to constituencies, the public no longer will get to choose who their MP is, just the top one from the list will get in. So, no more Portillo moments, as the top dogs (or troughers) would survive always to fight another day.

raggieroo said...

Quiet Man: I understand your concern, but no one is suggesting a list system. STV and AV+ both retain the constituency link, so that argument doesn't apply.

Constantly Furious: Are you coming out for PR?

Old Holborne: Abso-frickin-lutely.

raggieroo said...

Old Holborn: Oops! Sorry for the misspelling there!

Disenfranchised of Buckingham said...

The problem with stv is that someone's 5th choice is equal to my first choice. Why the hell should some progressive wimp get multiple chances to cancel out my vote?

As I see it Jo who gets 35% of the vote gets legitimized as having over 50% of the vote under stv.

Paul said...

This all comes down to how you frame your argument against FPTP. It will always fail on a national level when there are more than two parties, however elections aren't counted on a national level so the use of national voting statistics is disingenuous. The most pressing reform is the constituencies we need to rethink our our rotten boroughs and to maybe trim the Celtic Fringe so that England gets the Government it voted for.

raggieroo said...

D o B: As opposed to now when generally 35% of the vote is plenty to provide a majority government ignore the other 65% of voters?

In fact with FPTP, the most popular party could potentially have no parliamentary representation. Is that a fairer system?

Not likely, I know, but CF has shown how at odds the votes & seats are becoming with 3-party system. And someone's 5th choice being equal to your 1st would only happen if their first 4 are discounted. How likely is that?

Jill said...

But disenfranchised - do progressives want Tories getting the UKIP votes? After all, if reporting is correct, with UKIP votes in marginals counting for them, the Tories would have a majority this morning.

AV maintains local links, ends tactical voting and produces compromise WITHIN a constituency.

Above all, one's vote should be a POSITIVE thing, and voting positively shouldn't end in waste for so many millions of people, as is happening now. It's just plain wrong.

Anonymous said...

CF,i understand your angst but just look at limp wrist Hain calling for change-up till now nulabore have tried their damnest to avoid any form of pr.

Mavis B Sausage said...

Its all wrong. The only party that seems to always benefit is labour (surprise!). The whole thing needs to be rejigged asap. I would suggest 450 equal constituencies elected on FTP plus 150 on the list system. Possibly also an entirely elected upper house done on PR.

Disenfranchised of Buckingham said...

PR is a con. The real solution is direct democracy.

No legislation should pass without ratification by the people. And if that is too radical then a petition by,say, a million voters should force a referendum the result of which should be binding on parliament.

Disenfranchised of Buckingham said...

Jill it would be nice if voting was positive but that is not the real world. Under stv I would have listed 10 preferances against flipper,I've changed al my opinions, Burcow.

Being disenfranchised ment my vote was not along party lines otherwise I would have voted differently to get rid of Broon. Instead I could only vote, again negatively, to get rid of a MP I see as corrupt but unfortunately 48% of voters didn't mind his obvious deficiencies.

Jill said...

Disenfranchised - I think you can count your constituency as a reason for [different] electoral reform, but not an argument for or against PR. It's clear the Speaker's office shouldn't mean an entire constituency is by and large disenfranchised.

In any other constituency, you're arguing against yourself. You would have had your ten choices to vote against Brown. That's the point. You can vote positively for negative reasons. If Brown not getting in is your positive outcome, for example. When you're squashed into making an all-or-nothing bet with your vote against Brown; that's what's negative.

Anonymous said...

"the public no longer will get to choose who their MP is, just the top one from the list will get in"

Yeah, on a closed list system. On an open list - or partially open list - system, the public chooses the person as well as the party: some systems allow for the list to be ordered entirely on the votes each candidate receives, and others mean that if a candidate from lower down the list achieves a certain quota, they take precedence over someone higher up the list that didn't achieve that quota.

There are multiple forms of PR where voters can choose an individual, not just a party. Finally, some hybrid systems - AV+, FPTP-TU - maintain the constituency link.

AJUK said...

So you're warming to PR then?

Anonymous said...

Yep seem like your arguing for PR CF

Anonymous said...

Democracy has run it's course,let
the three main parties arrange a
decent funeral and then man the
pumps for something with a bite in it's tail. Time to give the hard
men* a spell at the helm.

* Where are they?

The Free Corps

selsey.steve said...

Sod PR and all that goes with it.
Make each constituency roughly equal in population size and stick with the FPTP system, which everyone understands.
Sod those who vote for a losing candidate and never mind how many more or fewer votes those candidates got in total. The winning candidate represents his/her constituency because a majority of voters agree that he/she is worthy of being in the post.

Tardkiller said...

erm ... NO

you lot seem to have overlooked the fact that this isnt the fault of FPTP or that we don't havd PR (which results in feckin GERMAN elections for christsakes)


Its the fact that those scotch ballbags have re-jigged the electoral bounderies, so, just fix em so they're fairer (and reduce the MPs by 10% like you promised dave) then its sorted.

then the rest of you whinging for PR can have a big mug of STFU

David said...


What's wrong with those "German" elections?

They have one of the strongest economies in the world, to such an extent that they are in a position to bail out the rest of Europe.
The rest of Scandinavia is the same.

We're fucked. We have no economy.

I'd rather have a German election, if it's all the same to you.

Anonymous said...

Take the list of constituencies where UKIP cost the Conservatives a seat.
Under PR they would have been eliminated and the vote go tothe next highest preference which I doubt would be Labour.
FPTP has cost the Conservatives big time.