Monday, January 30, 2006

Electoral reform should be Tory priority

My attention is drawn to the latest set of predictions by the excellent Electoral Calculus website which calculates election results on the basis of current opinion polls, while allowing for the vagaries of our electoral system.

It shows that if an election was held tomorrow, Labour could expect a majority of 64 - a net loss of just two seats.

This very healthy majority would come in spite of the fact that Labour currently averages 38pc in the opinion polls to the Tories' 37pc.

The site also shows that the Liberal Democrats would lose no fewer than 51 seats if an election were held now, plummeting from their current representation of 62 to the pre-SDP level of 11.

There are two conclusions to be drawn from all this. Firstly, that those of us who argued that the Lib Dems might in time come to regret getting rid of Charles Kennedy might well have had a point.

Secondly, that David Cameron will find it extremely hard to win an election under the current, constituency-based system, which rewards Labour for the fact that its support is more concentrated and penalises his party for the fact that its support is more thinly-spread.

The Electoral Calculus figures show yet again that the Tories will have to be approximately 7-8pc ahead of Labour in the popular vote to win an overall majority.

In his own interests, as well as in the interests of democracy, Cameron should be arguing for the replacement of this rotten system with one that more adequately reflects the parties' overall share of the vote.

1 comment:

Toque said...

Perhaps an English parliament elected by PR, with Westminster retaining first past the post?

That would be my favoured option. We could even throw in an English regions version of the single-transferable vote to make it interesting.