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Britain's ‘absurd’ voting system could see the Tories win an election without a popular mandate

THE Tories could win the next general election even if the party gets fewer votes than Labour, electoral campaigners warned today.

The Electoral Reform Society (ERS) said Westminster’s “absurd and undemocratic” voting system could see the Conservatives returned to No 10 without a popular mandate.

Political forecasting website Electoral Calculus has predicted a “wrong winner” scenario if a general election were held now.

The analysis, based on recent polling, predicts the next election will result in another hung parliament with the Tories winning 40.5 per cent of the vote and 297 seats but Labour taking just 279 seats on 40.7 per cent.

ERS chief executive Darren Hughes said the projections show “just how broken Westminster’s voting system is” and that reform is urgently needed to ensure democracy.

“A ‘wrong winner’ scenario would be an absolute scandal for our democracy — and the fact it is even on the cards is an absolute indictment of the Commons’ current set up,” he said.

In 1951, Westminster’s first past the post model resulted in the Tories forming a government with 48 per cent of the vote despite Labour taking 48.8 per cent.

And the February 1974 vote produced a hung parliament, in which Labour had 301 seats to the Tories’ 297 — even though the Conservatives beat Labour in votes by 0.7 per cent.

New labour movement campaign Politics for the Many is pushing for unions to support a “root and branch democratic reform,” including proportional representation.

Supporters include PCS leader Mark Serwotka, Unite assistant general secretary Howard Beckett and Nancy Platts, former trade union adviser to Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn.

Billy Hayes from Labour Campaign for Electoral Reform, BFAWU president Ian Hodson, TSSA political officer and Class think tank president Sam Tarry and Unison Scotland secretary Mike Kirby are also backing the campaign.

Politics for the Many co-ordinator Ms Platts said that the current set up “serves the old boys’ network while workers’ interests are trampled on.

“It is now time for a politics for the many.

“We need a democracy fit for the 21st century, and an end to this kind of political injustice that only serves to breed alienation.”

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