David Cameron has spent a lot of time in the last few weeks talking about how great the First Past the Post electoral system is. He will not countenance any change from this even though MPs can end up elected with often much less than 50% of the vote in their own constituency.
What I find fascinating about this is that if you follow his line of reasoning to its logical conclusion then David Cameron should not be leader of the Conservative party at all. Instead it should be David Davis.
Have a look at this page on Keele University's website where it tracked the voting during the 2005 Conservative leadership contest. You can see quite clearly that in the first round of voting, the following votes were cast:
If this had been a First Past the Post election then David Davis would have been elected leader. Of course that is not what happened and instead there were two more rounds of voting as Ken Clarke and Liam Fox were eliminated and then Cameron and Davis went through to the final round where Cameron got more than two thirds of the votes.
The Conservatives do not trust First Past the Post to elect their own leaders. Indeed if they had have done there would have been a very different result but they clearly do not think that it is fair and does not produce a result that represents the real feeling of the electorate. This is proven by their own results in each round from the 2005 leadership election.
So why do they think it is fair for this system to be foisted on the rest of us for elections for seats to Westminster?
UPDATE: I have had a number of people (including in the comments below) pointing out that the first two rounds were just the MPs which whittled the candidates down to two before they were put to the party as a whole. That is a fair point but it does still show that the Conservative Party has not chosen a FPTP system to elect their leader, instead they used an electoral college (presumably trying to reflect the views of the party at large) in the first two rounds followed by a run off from the party members proper. This is actually closer to how an Alternative Vote system would work with the different rounds to an extent reflecting MPs second and third preferences as they moved forward.
I still think it is a legitimate question to ask why this sort of principle can be applied to their leadership but not at election time for MPs.