Tuesday, 29 July 2014

Petition for a fair voting system

We all know that first past the post is an unfair electoral system that produces disproportionate results. First past the post elections in multi-member constituencies (such as the wards in London borough elections) are particularly disproportionate.

A good example is what happened to the Hackney Green party in this May's local elections. The party did extraordinarily well to finish a clear second in those elections in terms of votes cast. However because of the unfair electoral system they won no seats and finished behind the Tories and Lib Dems as well Labour where it counts in the council chamber. This cant be right or fair.

The Hackney Green Party has launched a petition to call on Government to adopt a fairer voting system for local elections in England and Wales (Scotland and Northern Ireland already use a form of proportional representation - the Single Transferable Vote).

I would urge you to sign this petition. 

The petition calls for the Government to adopt the same voting system for local elections as is used for the London Assembly (and Scottish Parliament and Welsh Assembly) - the Additional Member System. I've done some rough calculations (using some stylised assumptions) to calculate what the result in Hackney would have been under either the Additional Member System or the Single Transferable Vote. I'm sure you will agree that either form of proportional representation would be an improvement on what actually happened (and I agree with the Hackney Greens that AMS is the better form of system to go for even if it would not have delivered them as many seats as STV).

                          %age votes    FPTP seats   AMS seats   STV seats

Labour                     56%               50                  32              40

Green                      21%                0                   12              13

Tory                         12%                4                    7                3  

Lib Dem                    9%                 3                    5                1

TUSC                        2%                 0                    1                0

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