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Nina Temple:

First-past-the-post has reduced the general election to a travesty of democracy.
Labour has secured 55% of the seats with 36% of the vote. The Lib Dems with 22% have secured 11%. (figures based on the first 474 results)

The system is viciously biased against the Tories. Labour led them in share of the vote by only 3% but still has nearly twice as many seats.

How can a government backed by just over one in five electors – a 36% share of the 60% who turned out – conceivably claim any sort of valid democratic mandate?


Labour has been returned with the lowest ever portion of the popular vote for the winning party, yet still have some 66 overall majority. Is it any wonder why the national turnout was the second lowest for over a century? People are just plain fed-up.


  1. and adopting proportional representation. I’m not going to waste bytes and repeat the views above, but instead propose some ideas as to future action, so that we can move just beyond talking and good intentions (eek, that sounds unintentionally Judean

  2. Yeah. But if the BNP were to get an MP, they would surely be shown up for the racists they are. There’d be no hiding from it. And if people see that and still vote for it, well, that’s democracy I guess…

  3. Yes… isn’t that what they said about Hitler? Don’t worry, we’ll show him up for what he is. Bloody good strategy that turned out to be!

  4. Yes, I notice that Germany has managed the past sixty years with a PR system without Nazis popping up again.

  5. Garry, I’m afraid I was only following a thread where others had already referred to the voting system encouraging fascists. Therefore I can hardly be accused of raising the issue. And what is Hee Hee? Grow up!

  6. “Grow up!”

    I like that! From a person who in the past on this blog has taken every opportunity to avoid the debate in hand and instead indulge in petty name-calling and personal attacks.

    I’m all for open debate, but it is a bit rich of you to call on others to grow up when you are the one who usually fights dirty.

  7. Thanks doctorvee.
    Bob: I’m normally an easy going kind of person and the “hee hee” was intended as such.
    I guess I was a bit annoyed that you jumped thread on me before without responding to my comment about the 1997 manifesto. Was it a broken promise?
    And as for Godwin’s Law, I presume you don’t really think that the introduction of PR would lead to a Hitler type government in this country. That’s why the law applies. If you really do think that, well, I think I might move to Germany.
    Now I’m going to put a smiley face to signify that I am not personally attacking you, just trying to have a debate on this issue.
    It doesn’t mean I’m childish though.

  8. Garry, Sorry, I don’t come this way that often, I wasn’t trying to be disrespectful and I cannot recall what you said about the 1997 Manifesto. As for Godwin’s Law, as I said, I never raised the issue of the fascist vote… highrise did at the start so I hardly think I can be blamed for introducing it. I do think PR encourages right and left extreme parties, but it is not my main reason for opposing it. I think under PR you give the elected an opportunity to cop out. If after the last election we had a government elected under PR, nothing would get done and the real balance of power would lie with those who voted for the third party. It may be attractive to those who support the Lib Dems… but it doesn’t make it supported by the majority.

  9. I’m not too sure about that. We have a coalition executive here in Scotland and there is plenty you can accuse them of. But I don’t think you can accuse them of having got nothing done.

    Undoubtedly there are tensions between the parties. But this isn’t a result of PR. The Labour Party has plenty of tensions between its factions under FPTP.

  10. Bob, that’s a valid point of view although it’s not one I share. The reason I tend to get steamed up about this issue is because Labour promised a referendum on it in 1997 (with a commitment to recommend a system of PR). You said “but it doesn’t make it supported by the majority.” This may or may not be true but, unless Mr Blair fulfils that promise we will never know.