Wednesday, June 14, 2006

The Great Local Votes Swindle is just the beginning

A report out today from the Electoral Reform Society drives a further nail into the coffin of our discreidted first-past-the-post electoral system.

It reveals that a dozen councils in the recent local elections ended up being controlled by the "wrong" party because the one with the largest share of the vote did not win the most seats.

It also points out that in Barking and Dagenham, the far-right British National Party won 12 seats with 8,506 votes across the borough as a whole while the Conservatives won one seat with 9,306.

You can read the full report HERE.

This, however, is just the beginning. As I have mentioned previously on this blog, there is a very real possibility that the sort of scenario outlined in the ERS report could actually happen at national level.

If the Tories end up in front of Labour by anything between 0-4pc of the national share of the vote, it is overwhelmingly likely that Labour will remain the largest single party and in a position, possibly with Lib Dem help, to remain in government.

The ERS report seems to have been ignored by most of the big media outfits (including the BBC) today and also by the Tory blogosphere, which doesn't seem to want to discuss proportional representation even though it is crystal clear that their party would benefit from it.

When the next election produces the constitutional equivalent of a dog's breakfast, perhaps they'll sit up and take notice.

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