Professor Popple Thinks Aloud 2

30th June 2015

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As we know the result of the General Election was a victory for the Conservative Party who have committed themselves to further austerity measures including another £12 billion in cuts in welfare benefits.

However looking at the election results more closely we see that whilst the Tories have a majority of seats in the House of Commons they won just 37% of the vote. Interestingly too although there is much pain in the Labour Party at present as they consider how they lost seats their share of vote in England actually increased by 3.5% over their share in 2010. It was in Scotland of course that the Labour Party was undone when their seats in Westminster were reduced to one seat from 41 with the SNP now enjoying 56 seats in Parliament. Again if you look at the figures 50% of the Scottish electorate did not vote for a Nationalist MP which means they are effectively disfranchised.

Another twist to this tale is that UKIP won 14.1 of the vote but only returned one MP. Likewise the Green Party polled over 1 million votes but only secured one seat in parliament.

This evidence and more shows how outdated our electoral system of first past the post is and fails to represent millions who did not vote for the party that is presently in power. The two major parties have always resisted arguments to change the electoral system to one that can better represent minority interests. When either of the major parties wins power they naturally feel the system has worked well for them. However as many who did not vote SNP in Scotland and those who voted UKIP or Green will feel quite the opposite.

At the moment our democracy has never had so few exercising power over so many. Changing our voting system to one that reflects our nation more closely will breathe life into our moribund electoral system and increase the power of the people to decide who runs the UK.

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