Comment on UK Electoral Reform – Alternative Vote System by David.

If we get the preferred PR system of the Lib Dems which is the single transferable vote with a cut off of around 10% of the vote share in a constituency to be considered for a seat (considered, not actually getting a seat), the above numbers would never happen.

Only 3 BNP candidates gained 10% of the vote share on May 6th, those three might be considered for a seat, but they’d still have to gain enough 2nd and 3rd… votes to secure a seat (hard to achieve for a small unpopular party).

What’s most likely to happen is a three way split between the big three parties with Labour and Conservatives having most of the seats and the Lib Dems a close third. Smaller parties would gain the odd seat, so you might see 1 or 2 BNP MPs, 1 or 2 Green MPs etc…

This assumes the popular share of the vote would remain roughly the same.

Basically proportional representation does not share the seats based on the countrywide % of the popular vote. It’s more complex and each area elects X number of MPs. Rather than having 650 constituencies we might have 65 large constituencies with each electing 10 MPs.

The votes would be counted for each of the 65 constituencies and depending on the form of PR used would determine what it would take to gain one of the 10 seats.

The important point is under most forms of PR we won’t see dozens of fringe extremist MPs from parties like the BNP. We might get 1 or 2 unless there’s a massive shift in the vote share to those parties.

Two weeks ago I didn’t understand how PR worked and was concerned at the media reports that if the BNP have 5% (they currently have under 4% IF they had 650 candidates in each election) of the popular vote they automatically gain 5% of the MPs (that’s 30+ MPs)!!!

Apparently most in the media either don’t understand proportional representation or they are scaremongering to make news since at worst we’d have a few BNP MPs.


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