Archive for the 'Electoral Reform' Category


How the 2017 general election result would have looked under different voting systems

Saturday, September 23rd, 2017

If Jeremy Corbyn does become Prime Minister I expect electoral reform, as part of wider constitutional reform, will happen, without the need of plebiscites on the matter. Whilst Labour leaders do say in opposition they favour electoral reform but then ignore it when they are elected, like a brilliant thought during an orgasm, it gets lost in the ecstasy of ‘victory’. I think Corbyn will not do a Blair on the topic of electoral reform.

The chart above, from the Electoral Reform Society, it should be noted that under three other voting systems, only one of them would see the Tories having more seats than Labour, that voting system is AV, the Tories must really regret opposing AV in the 2011 referendum, under AV the Tories would have won an even larger majority in 2015, which may have stopped Mrs May calling a snap election.

The Tories theoretically have at least nearly five years left in government they should use that time to introduce electoral reform before someone else does introduce a new voting system that is detrimental to the Tory party.



Why a progressive alliance in Stoke Central might be doomed

Thursday, February 9th, 2017

Electoral pacts may not help Labour and a progressive alliance

Last weekend The Guardian published a story which said ‘Jeremy Corbyn’s team have informally explored the idea of collaborating with the Greens and Liberal Democrats in Stoke-on-Trent Central to keep Paul Nuttall, the Ukip leader, out of parliament. A senior figure in the Labour leader’s office has asked a go-between what it would take to persuade the Lib Dems and Greens to dial down their campaigns, or even withdraw candidates, in the byelection later this month, the Guardian understands. ‘

But if you look at the tweet atop this thread, it is likely had the 2015 general election been fought under AV or other non FPTP systems, the Tories would have been returned with an even larger majority or in coalition with UKIP. In Leave supporting Stoke a progressive alliance might be doomed before it even begins as it might persuade the other side to form their own alliance.

For those of us who have a big red against UKIP winning the Stoke-upon-Trent Central by election that Labour need to form an alliance to win is worrying, though it might just be expectations management as well as squeezing complacent supporters who think the seat that Labour have held since its inception in 1950 is in the bag for Corbyn’s party.

As an aside, having mocked UKIP and Paul Nuttall for not understanding how electoral law works, it feels fair to criticise some in Labour for the same thing. Once the nominations have been submitted, candidates cannot withdraw, if you really wanted them to dial it down/withdraw, it would have been prudent to ensure they never submitted their nominations in the first place. Again this lack of competence isn’t reassuring for those of us laying UKIP.

A few years ago we saw how another referendum shook the political kaleidoscope and saw safe Labour seats fall on bigly, scarcely believable swings, they say history repeats itself, first as tragedy then as Farage, with only two weeks to go until voting day and we’ll get a better understanding of how things are in Labour held seats that voted to Leave.



The winners under First Past The Post should rigidly adhere to election spending laws

Wednesday, December 28th, 2016


The chart above is self-explanatory and illustrates clearly how well the electoral system treated the Tories at the last election and how hard it was on the smaller parties particularly UKIP.

General elections are won in the marginal constituencies where clearly the parties focus their resources both financial and people.

But the law lays down very strict spending limits on how much can be spent by each party within each seat. Parties shouldn’t be able to buy victory simply because they’ve got most money.

After the election each candidate and his/her agent have to sign a declaration of expenses. A false declaration is a criminal offence.

So free resources that don’t cost money such as enthusiastic volunteers for clearical tasks, delivering and canvassing are at a premium. If you start paying for items like this during the official campaign period then it can eat into the maximum that’s allowed.

Earlier in the year Channel 4’s Michael Crick ran a series of reports suggesting that the Tories in some of their key targets and defences might have gone over the limit. This is now being investigated by the Electoral Commission and we await its report.

In these days hidden campaigning such as use of social media and the phone plays a huge part and tracking expenditure can be harder but it is right that limits should be adhered to.

Mike Smithson


The plan for a progressive alliance might have an itsy bitsy teenie weenie flaw with it

Sunday, December 18th, 2016

With Leave polling 52% and the Tories & UKIP regularly polling around 50% plus in the polls a progressive alliance might be doomed.

In recent weeks we’ve seen much talk of a progressive alliance to stop the Tories/Brexit/Right wing populism, and with the result of the Richmond Park by election that talk has ceased to be an abstract concept, but will it work at a general election?

Looking at the above tweet, the Electoral Reform Society analysed what the 2015 general election result would have been under different voting systems the Tories must regret opposing AV back in 2011, AV is much like the most recent James Bond film SPECTRE, there are two types of people, those who already acknowledge its brilliance and superiority above all others, and those who will eventually acknowledge its brilliance and superiority above all others.

I suspect coming up with policies more popular with the public will be a more successful route to power than changing the voting system or coming up with electoral pacts.