Our Votes Are Not Equal

Remain or Leave, Climate Advocate or Denier we all want one vote to have the same power wherever you leave, whoever you are. And many of us assume this is the case, that each vote is equal, and that each party gets seats in accordance with how many votes they get - it doesn't matter if you live in Cornwall or Scotland; if Conservatives get 40% they get 40% of the seats, if Greens get 10% of the vote they get 10% of the seats, right? 



Well this isn't what happens in first past the post system - with unequal numbers of voters in different constituencies - where the winner takes all no matter how few people voted for them (see right).

What few people realise is that in a multiparty system - where we have Lib Dems, the SNP, Greens etc rather than just Labour and the Conservatives - parties only have to win the largest number of votes in an area. 

This means a party can win with much less than 50% of the vote (aka that most people don't want that mp in power). 

When you look at the country as a whole this problem multiplies... Just look at the number of votes a party gets to how many seats (MPs) they get in the previous two elections...


No-one can say that the number of MPs is representative of the nations vote. Scotland's and Northern Ireland's votes count for over double, UKIP, the Liberal Democrats and Greens votes dispersed over the country count for nothing and only the Conservative and Labour Parties are happy and unchallenged.

It doesn't have to be this way - only the UK, India and US have this system - plenty of fantastic countries have fairer alternatives from New Zealand to Germany. (The Lib Dems, Greens and UKIP have allied to challenge First-Past-The-Post - which shows how broad this issue is if they can get along).

 It's very likely for another half a decade voting reform isn't on the cards - but for when the chance comes again to change a broken system have a look at the alternatives we could have chosen https://www.electoral-reform.org.uk/voting-systems/types-of-voting-system/