Gransnet forums

News & politics

Proportional Representation

(12 Posts)
varian Thu 14-Sep-17 11:48:34

In response to a petition signed by over 100,000 people, Parliament is going to debate – “To make votes matter, adopt Proportional Representation for UK General Elections”.

The debate is scheduled for 30 October 2017.

You'll be able to watch online at

Welshwife Thu 14-Sep-17 18:10:28

There are several types of PR - is it one in particular or just to adopt some sort of PR system do you know?

durhamjen Thu 14-Sep-17 18:28:30

That's good. The government turned it down when it got over 100,000.
On the other hand, if it's being debated in opposition time, it will not be binding anyway, as was discovered yesterday.

TriciaF Thu 14-Sep-17 19:59:51

The only thing I can think of relevant to the UK is that the allocation of H of C seats after the 2015 GE was grossly unfair.
ie approx
Con 11,335m votes 331 seats
Lab 9, 34m " 232 "
SNP 1, 654 m " 56 "
LibDems 2,415m " 8 "
UKI 3,881 m 1 "
So it seems that Nigel Farage's party were harmed the most by the present system and would benefit most for Prop. Rep.

Cindersdad Thu 14-Sep-17 22:06:44

There are different variants of PR none of which the Tories will allow. The LibDems have long wanted PR along with some of the Labour Party. Although I don't support UKIP you can't deny that they should have a fair share of the members in the House of Commons.
Under PR the result would have been
Con 249
Lab 205
SNP 36
L/D 53

Of course this result cannot predict the true picture as tactical voting would not need to factor under PR and the turn out may be higher as voters would know their vote would count. We would have coalitions for evermore, that would be no bad thing.

yggdrasil Fri 15-Sep-17 07:56:35

Cindersdad said "We would have coalitions for evermore, that would be no bad thing."

Some people, remembering the Tory/Lib coalition, might not agree. But it doesn't have to be a formal coalition with a dominant party. In fact, the best thing would be for all parties, including the small ones who will at last get representation, to support each bill according to their principles.
This is how it works in some other countries' parliaments

Cindersdad Fri 15-Sep-17 08:24:34

yggdrasil - I take your point but the country needs to escape from the swings to left to right and vice versa resulting in expensive policy changes. Majority governments elected by a minority of the electorate cause resentment and a feeling of helplessness in the population. This is bad for democracy.

Consensus government would allow from long term planning and stop extreme policies being implemented. This as "yggdrasil" works well in many countries and given a chance it could here. But FPTP suits the mainly Tory establishment and when the chips are down they always put party before country as we have seen. When things swing in favour of Labour they also resist moves to PR and may be then some Tories think PR may be acceptable.

I would urge those of you who believe in PR to write to your MP before 30th October stating your case. Write rather than Email as from past experience MP's tend to ignore Emails.

TriciaF Fri 15-Sep-17 11:32:19

CindersDad - well done for working out those figures smile
I couldn't work out how to do it.

TriciaF Fri 15-Sep-17 11:32:59

ps BTW I don't support UKIP.

paddyann Fri 15-Sep-17 12:22:45

we have a type of PR in Scotland the De'Hondt system ,its complicated and was put in place to stop ANY party getting a majority ( thanks Donald Dewar and Blair) that was proven not to be the case when SNP got majority last time around ,although we've always had other msp's who had been list mp's .Minority governments do work better under this system ,sometimes .It does confuse voters though when making their choices ,for instance voting SNP 1 and 2 on the paper gave the party less seats than voting SNP 1 and greens 2 with snp again further down the list ...I did say its complicated

varian Sun 17-Sep-17 15:47:08

The system used for elections to the Scottish parliament is fairer, although the De'Hondt system not the only or necessarily the best system, it does ensure that the number of elected members better reflects the number of votes for each party.

There are many in all parties who want to see a fairer voting system. Make Votes Matter is a cross-party campaign.

Cindersdad Sun 17-Sep-17 19:53:32

My preferred system is a hybrid with 400 constituencies elected on an FPTP basis and a further 200 seats made up using PR. When all the votes are counted work out the PR share for each party including the FPTP 400 seats. Each ballot paper has the option for all parties in the election sometimes with no actual candidate in the constituency allowing your vote to be for the party you support.

The remaining 200 seats are allocated to the highest loosers to make up the PR equivalent. This will keep the constituency link and it avoids parties using lists of candidates that the electorate have not voted for. In the event of a main getting too many seats in the 400 that would be allowed but no more seats in the 200.

You could also remove the need for bye elections by selecting the next party candidate who was actually voted for. Sounds complex but mathematically straightforward.