Why People Say FPTP Is Broken

Joe Young - Politics Editor

Image: Pulse Media

Since before The Pulse’s Editorial Team were born, the Liberal Party were trying to institute a proportional voting system in the UK. This failed back at the turn of the 1900s in the House of Lords. Since then, there have been increasing calls for a proportional system.

In 2011, we had a referendum on Alternative Vote, in which is was pointedly rejected. Despite the Government incessantly – and totally incorrectly – saying the people rejected “proportional representation”, which AV is not, there are louder calls than ever.

So Pulse Politics did a little experiment. We modelled what would happen if the Big Five – the Conservatives, Labour, Liberal Democrats, UKIP, and Greens – all received the same vote share. Now, we kept the SNP and Plaid Cymru at generic values as if they got the same as the Tories, there would probably be voting fraud happening.

So, lo and behold, an election in which each of the Big Five get 18.9% of the vote:

Despite the Greens and Labour/Conservatives having exactly the same result, Lab/Con have a whopping twenty times the seats of the Greens each.

The Liberal Democrats win 56, bringing them one seat shy of their 2010 total – despite them then being a hefty 13% behind the Tories.

Pulse Politics has no stance – we’re here to inform. There are regular calls to change FPTP, and purely from a statistical point of view such as this, it’s relatively easy to see why they could argue their case.

Should Britain have a proportional voting system?


About Joe Young 316 Articles
Joe Young has been involved with student media for a very long time now, holding posts within The Pulse, and Pulse Radio, as well as the predecessor of The Pulse, Pluto. He is currently Politics Editor of The Pulse, and Head of News of Pulse Radio. In 2016, he won the Media Award for Best Article for his coverage of the Fishergate Shopping Centre bomb scare.

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