Thoughts on politics and life from a liberal perspective

Saturday, 17 April 2010

Is this the most eloquent argument for electoral reform you'll see?

I was on Radio 5 Live last night at midnight doing the paper review on Stephen Nolan's show. As I was driving to the studio I heard the breaking news about the YouGov poll in today's Sun which puts the Conservatives on 33%, the Lib Dems on 30% (a huge 8% jump) and Labour on 28%.

Unfortunately, once I arrived at the studio, for some reason I could not fathom I was not able to get internet access working on my iPhone. I had wanted to run the figures through UK Polling Report's seat calculator before I went on air and I now so wish I had been able to because here are the results

That's right folks. If this was to play out, despite getting 30% of the vote, the Lib Dems would only get 15% of the seats. And despite the fact that Labour would come third overall with only 28% of the votes they would actually end up the single largest party and effectively "win" the election with 42% of the seats.

Luckily for me, one of the callers towards the end of the show had run the figures and so I was able to briefly make the point forcefully that this shows just how broken our electoral system is.

You will not see a more eloquent explanation of why that is than the table above.


HeavyLight said...

Presuming a 'balanced' parliament, will Clegg be able to insist on moves to enable STV before offering significant support to other bills?
This has to be the last fptp election!

Anonymous said...

Ye-es - assuming that the UNS worked as it should.

With as drastic a change in the vote share as that I personally think absolutely anything might happen. It might see Labour's vote unwind completely, or the Tories in overall majority, or the three roughly equal.

Truly we live in interesting times.

Dingdongalistic said...

It does depend on the type of swing, which is an important caveat -- particularly as Lib Dems, being seen somewhat as a "alternative choice", are more likely to have their vote boosted where they stand a serious chance of winning, I think. (I might be completely wrong, that's just guesswork).

I genuinely wonder how those figures would work out given AV.

The Great Simpleton said...

These guys give you a couple of extra seats on that split.

Paul Sagar said...


That's pretty damning.

And it also helps explain why Labour are so against electoral reform.