Thursday, 23 May 2019

D'Hont system may be discriminating against Plaid.

There can be no doubt that the so Called Brexit Party will do well n the European Elections  and it seems that it has influenced voting intentions for the fiture UK General election and National Assembly elections in Wales.
I am going to concentrate on the Assembly elections where it seems the D'Hont may be discriminating against Plaid.
..."What about voting intentions for the National Assembly? YouGov as per usual asked about voting intentions for both the constituency and the regional ballots. Here are their findings for the constituency ballot (with changes from the April Barometer poll once again in brackets): 
Labour: 25% (-6)
Plaid Cymru: 24% (no change)
Conservatives: 17% (-6)
Brexit Party: 17% (+17)
Liberal Democrats: 9% (+3)
Greens: 5% (+4)
Change UK: 1% (-3)
UKIP: 1% (-6)
Others: 1% (-4)

These are more extraordinary, indeed scarcely believable, numbers. There is further substantial decline for Labour and the Conservatives, and Plaid Cymru are within a single percentage point of Labour for the lead: the latter is again a statement that would have defied credulity just six months ago.
Once again deploying the uniform national swing assumption (since the last National Assembly election of May 2016), this poll would project nine constituencies to change hands. The main beneficiaries would be Plaid Cymru: they are projected to gain Llanelli, Blaenau Gwent, Cardiff West, Caerphilly and Neath from Labour, and Aberconwy from the Conservatives. Labour are also projected to lose the Vale of Glamorgan and Vale of Clwyd to the Tories, and Cardiff Central to the Liberal Democrats. That would mean the Assembly constituency seats distributed as follows:
Labour: 19
Plaid: 12
Conservatives: 7
Liberal Democrats: 2

Such would be by far Labour’s worst-ever performance in the constituency contests at a National Assembly election.
Now for the Assembly regional list vote. YouGov produced the following results (with changes from April’s Barometer poll once again in brackets):
Brexit Party: 23% (+17)
Plaid Cymru: 22% (no change)
Labour: 21% (-7)
Conservatives: 12% (-8)
Greens: 8% (+5)
Liberal Democrats: 7% (+2)
Abolish the Assembly: 3% (no change)
Change UK: 2% (-3)
UKIP: 1% (-4)
Others: 1% (-1)

Even as I type these figures, it is difficult to believe what I am typing. Labour is – albeit very narrowly – in third place on this vote, while the Brexit party has come in a matter of weeks from nowhere to leading the poll. And the woes off the Conservatives continue.
Allowing for the constituency results already projected, and once more assuming uniform national swings since 2016, our new poll projects the following overall results for the Assembly’s regional list seats:
North Wales: 3 Brexit Party, 1 Green
Mid and West Wales: 2 Brexit Party, 1 Labour, 1 Green
South Wales West: 2 Brexit Party, 1 Plaid Cymru, 1 Green
South Wales Central: 3 Brexit Party, 1 Green
South Wales East: 3 Brexit Party, 1 Green
These figures therefore generate the following overall result for the National Assembly:

Labour: 20 seats (19 constituency, 1 regional)
Plaid Cymru: 13 seats (12 constituency, 1 regional)
Brexit Party: 13 seats (13 regional)
Conservatives: 7 seats (7 constituency)
Greens: 5 seats (5 regional)
Liberal Democrats: 2 seat (2 constituency)
It is difficult to know how to describe these results: this would be not so much an electoral earthquake but, in the words of the late and great Anthony King, “An asteroid hitting the planet and destroying practically all life on earth”. Whatever else we might say about politics at the moment, it is not dull".

What disturbs me is that Plaid, whilst getting roughly the same  vote as Labour , would get 7 fewer seats and equal that of  the Brexit Party who would pick up an amazing 13 seats all on the regional list.

But it does mean that  it could be possible for the Brexit Party (or any other party)  not to contest Constituency Seats and still achieve the same result.

Indeed  it merits asking , what is the point of having consituencty elections and AMs and probably more work due to constituents turning to them with their problems as a first choice?

Indeed it would be intresting to compair the workload of Constituencty AMs as  opposed to Regional AMs.

The latter of couse have a much larger areas to deal with and some like Plaid's Bethan Sayed, do seem to put a lot of constituency work in.

However it does mean that even Regional AMs with an eye on a Constituency may concentrate thier efforts there.

What we need is something like the Single Transferable Vote .

It may not be perfect but it does appear fairer.


Anonymous said...

These elections are a perfect storm for the BREXIT Party. No track record to defend and no manifesto. Farage has been desperate not to talk about any of his previous statements about the NHS. With the trouble facing British Steel his tweets about Brexit being good for the company and him not voting to stop dumping cheap steel in Europe will significantly tarnish their brand.

Gav said...

Arrow's impossibility theorem and all that. In practice, whoever decides these things picks the system that's more likely to give the results they prefer.