Parliament to debate proportional representation

By agency reporter
October 28, 2017

MPs will debate scrapping Westminster’s First Past the Post voting system on Monday 30 October 2017, after a petition calling for proportional representation reached 100,000 signatures.

The debate, scheduled to begin around 4:30pm, will see MPs from across the House discuss the motion: 'To make votes matter, adopt Proportional Representation for UK General Elections'.

The Electoral Reform Society  (ERS) are calling for Westminster to adopt a proportional voting system where seats match votes cast – such as Scotland and Northern Ireland’s Single Transferable Vote.

Darren Hughes, Chief Executive of the Electoral Reform Society, said: “After the third election in a row which failed to produce a decisive result, it’s welcome news that electoral reform is back on the agenda. First Past the Post is failing on its own terms – and June was its third strike.  

“The arguments for fair votes are stronger than ever. Millions of votes were thrown on the electoral scrapheap in June’s election: 68 per cent of ballots had no impact on the result. That’s 22 million votes going to waste..

“First Past the Post, far from being ‘strong and stable’, is a recipe for volatility and random results. Just 0.0016 per cent of voters choosing differently would have given the Conservatives a majority, while the election saw rise in very marginal seats: eleven seats were won by fewer than 100 votes.

“June’s vote was the ‘lesser evil’ election. We estimate that one in five people voted tactically, alongside a surge in smaller parties standing aside. That’s no way to run a democracy, and it’s about time we had a voting system fit for the 21st century.

“It’s great news our MPs are now debating the need for fair votes. There is a groundswell of support for this, with over 100,000 demanding that the case PR is heard in Parliament.

“The next step is beginning a process to give voters the democratic system they deserve. It’s time for fair votes.”

* Read the ERS briefing for MPs here

* Electoral Reform Society

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