Berkshire news Reading Council would have looked different under proportional voting MetiNews.Com
MetiNews.Com - Calls have been made to change the first past the post system
Breaking News ! Councillors have taken their seats for the first time following last week's elections - but the political makeup of Reading could have looked quite different under an alternative voting system. At the Reading Councilelection, Labour took 41% of the total votes cast, yet claimed 59% of the seats up for grabs. That adds up to 10 out of 17 seats available on election night. Meanwhile, the Conservatives took a 32% share of the votes, but only four seats - 24% of the total number contested. The Green Party secured 16% of the votes and won two seats, while the Lib Dems won just one seat, with a 10% vote share. However, campaigners have long been making the case for Britain’s “First Past the Post” (FPTP) voting system to be scrapped, in favour of a proportional voting system (PR). Under PR, the number of seats each party wins would match the share of votes received. In Reading, that would still have meant victory for the Labour Party. But instead of winning 10 seats, the party would have won seven. BerkshireLive email updates: We bring the stories to you Signing up to the BerkshireLive newsletter means you'll receive our daily news email. It couldn't be simpler and it takes seconds - simply press here, enter your email address and follow the instructions. You can also enter your address at the top of this page in the box below the picture on most desktop and mobile platforms. Changed your mind? There's an 'unsubscribe' button at the bottom of every newsletter we send out. The Tories, Greens and Lib Dems would all be up one additional seat, giving the Conservatives five, the Green Party three and Lib Dems two. No independent candidates won a seat on election night, and even pulling together all the votes cast for independent candidates would not yield a large enough share of the vote to earn a single seat. None of the Trade Union and Socialist Coalition, the Liberals, Reform Party or SDP received enough votes to win any seats, even under a PR voting system. The Electoral Reform Society has relaunched a petition calling for England’s voting system to be changed. It says that under the current voting system, ballots not cast for the winning candidates in each ward go to waste. It believes PR would be a much fairer system and would allow more people’s voices to be heard. Dr Jess Garland, director of policy and research at the Electoral Reform Society, said: “Behind these figures are thousands of voters being ignored - often election after election. “These one-party-takes-all outcomes are a deadweight on our democracy, with voters feeling silenced or taken for granted. When a party can get near 100% representation on a fraction of the vote, something is clearly wrong.
. “The broken, winner-takes-all voting system used for England’s councils creates local one-party states that too often seem immune from challenge. “Voters deserve fair, proportional representation, something that’s impossible under First Past the Post.” Proportional representation means any voting system where the number of seats a party secures matches its share of the vote. However, there are a number of different PR systems which can be used. While FPTP decided the outcome of all council votes across England, elections to the Welsh Senedd, Scottish Parliament and London Assembly all used a proportional voting system known as the Additional Member System (AMS). With this system, voters have two ballot papers.
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On the first, voters are asked to use a cross to mark the candidate they want to be their constituency representative. The second ballot is a list of political parties standing in a wider region made up of multiple constituencies. The constituency vote retains the First Past the Post system to elect constituency MPs, but the regional vote uses proportional representation to elect additional, regional MPs. It’s aim is to provide a proportional parliament, but also keep a single local representative. However, the Electoral Reform Society sees the “Single Transferable Vote” system as the “gold standard”. Under this system - which is used for local elections in Scotland and Northern Ireland - each elector marks their ballot against their most preferred candidate, but then also marks back up choices. If their first preference is eliminated (by not receiving enough votes), their ballot is transferred to a back-up selection, rather than being discarded. The Electoral Reform Society petition, calling for changes to the voting system, can be found here: https://action.electoral-reform.org.uk/page/2401/petition/1?_ga=2.132385550.1249601330.1620300555-1057107299.1616751471
Source = MetiNews.Com