The case for changing our voting system is a strong one. The way we elect MPs – the so-called first past the post system – is not working.
Take Oliver Colvile, for example, the MP for Plymouth Sutton and Devonport. He won just over 15,000 votes at the election last May, yet almost 29,000 people in his constituency had voted for someone else. Almost twice as many people rejected him as voted for him, yet he was elected.
He is not alone. At the last election, two-thirds of the MPs elected to the House of Commons had been rejected by local voters – more of their constituents had voted against them than for them.
Want more crazy results from the topsy-turvy world of first past the post? Well, Simon Wright won just 29 per cent of the vote in Norwich South in last year’s election, but it was more than anyone else so he is now an MP. Amazingly, across the country on the same day 295 candidates won a bigger share of the vote in their contests than Simon did in his, but they all lost. Do you see what I mean about the current system not working?
I feel very strongly that we need to change how we elect our MPs and that is why I made a video about it and put it on YouTube. At just under four minutes it explains how the proposed new system – the Alternative Vote – works and why it is better than what we have now. Please check it out.