Wednesday, 10 June 2015

My vote has nearly always been "wasted".

The Wasting Mule  David Williamson makes a interesting  case that   UK’s voting system may be “breaking up Britain” by handing success to different parties in each of the four nations, the Electoral Reform Society has warned as it delivers a scathing verdict on May’s election.
The ERS found that 853,000 votes in Wales went to “losing candidates” and 35 of the nation’s 40 MPs (88%) failed to win the support of over half of their constituents – the highest rate in the whole of the UK.Anglesey Labour MP Albert Owen was elected with the smallest winning vote share in Wales (31.1%), and his party won 63% of seats with just 37% of the vote.The ERS is also concerned that “political differences between the regions and nations of the UK have been exaggerated by how votes are translated into seats through the First Past the Post system.”

As Williamson points out

Anglesey Labour MP Albert Owen was elected with the smallest winning vote share in Wales (31.1%), and his party won 63% of seats with just 37% of the vote.

 Steve Brooks, director of ERS Cymru, said:
 “This is the first time we have ever seen four different parties win in the four nations of the UK, with the Conservatives winning in England, the SNP in Scotland, the DUP in Northern Ireland and Labour here in Wales. And yet, as with the winners in the other parts of the UK, the seats Labour won in Wales exaggerated the scale of their win significantly...“This isn’t only a matter of fairness to voters and making their votes count. Our electoral map is deceptive – it looks like there are whole areas of monolithic blocks of Labour red, Conservative blue, or SNP yellow in the UK.
“But as we see in Wales this isn’t actually the case. Votes for different parties aren’t being reflected in seats won.”

 Instead of Labour winning 25 seats in Wales, the party would have just 17. The Conservatives would have won 13 instead of 11; Ukip would have won five instead of none; Plaid Cymru would have held steady on three; and the Liberal Democrats would have two MPs instead of one.
So not great news we could se a CON-Ukip coalition. for instance
The ERS claims that at a UK level the Conservatives would have won 276 seats to Labour’s 236, with the SNP securing 34, UKIP 54 and the Lib Dems 26. The Greens would have won two further seats in Bristol and London.(Though they would stil be under represented).

So far from the result I would have hoped for but it at least would be fair.

Of course this is based on the assumption that people will vote in exactly the same wqy under STV as they do now.

I am now owe sixty and  apart from living in London in nineties have always voted Plaid  and even then I voted Green..

So I have never voted for a winning candidate but there are plenty of people who would have voted for another candidate in some constituencies where they believe the one they preferred couldn't win .
Tats why the lLbDems use their Bargraphs and the claims only they can beat the Labour /Tory/SNP incumbent.

Under STV people can vote for the candidate they want not against the candidate they do not.
SO a Party might actually have done a lot better under STV  Labour in The South West of England which is normally a Con-LibDem battle ground may increase their vote and win more seats there than expected..

However  I am disappointed that some pundits have pointed to the SNP success Scotland to compare their 56 MPs with Ukip 1 it is a false argument as they are using the UK wide figures  for a comparison to strengthen their argument.. 

The SNP under STV  would still have won 34 seats to Ukip 54 and some Unionist will still claim that the SNP were over represented. using UK figures.

So STV may not get us the result we want but it may give us the result we deserve




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