Why we need electoral reform

The Liberal Democrats are currently in talks with the Tories about making a pact, without which the Tories will have no clear majority in Parliament. The biggest stumbling block to these talks is probably Electoral Reform: For the Lib Dems it’s a must have whilst for the Tories, it’s a must not. So why are the two parties at such odds on this issue? Well take a look at the election results:

Total Votes: 29,653,638
Total Seats: 649 (One outstanding)

Party Votes Seats % Votes % Seats
Cons 10,706,647 306 36 47
Lab 8,604,358 258 29 40
LibDem 6,827,938 57 23 9
UKIP 917,832 0 3 0

So, the Tories clearly won with 36% of the vote but it earned them 47% of the seats. Conversely the Lib Dems took 23% of the vote but only got 9% of the seats. Is it any wonder the Lib Dems want Electoral Reform and the Tories don’t! As for UKIP (Bless), they took 3% of the vote but got no seats at all.

Now lets say we had a proportional system of representation. Based on the votes cast, this is how the seats would have been distributed.

Party Votes Seats % Votes % Seats
Cons 10,706,647 234 36 36
Lab 8,604,358 188 29 29
LibDem 6,827,938 149 23 23
UKIP 917,832 20 3 3

To sum it up, the Tories secured a seat for every 35k votes they received but the Lib Dems required 120k votes for each of theirs. As for UKIP, they just plunged into a black political hole with their 917k votes not securing them a single voice in the Commons.

This strikes me as a ridiculous system, devised by those who seemingly benefit the most from it.

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