The Institute of Public Policy Research says that unless the current arrangement is scrapped there is greater risk of the “wrong” winner being declared when the country goes to the polls.
It points to the fact that Labour needs only a three-point lead to secure a Commons majority at a general election while the Tories need an 11 point gap to seize power.
Now, yes, of course, this can be used to argue that we need a change in the voting system.
However, it can also be used to argue that the voting system is just fine, it\’s the drawing of the constituency boundaries which needs reforming.
But of course, when his is argued then we get the various Labour Party harpies screaming about how unfair this would be.
In general (and it is only in general, not specifically true in all cases), Labour seats are in declining city centres and declining industrial areas. Tory seats are in growing suburbs and rural areas. \”Declining\” and \”growing\” here are defined as losing or gaining population.
We only have a census once every decade and we seem to change the constituency boundaries (please correct me if I\’m wrong) a decade or so after we get the results of that census. So there\’s a near 20 year delay, at the extreme, in constituency boundaries and size reflecting these geographical changes in the dispostion of the population.
As a result, Labour seats tend (again, tend, this is not absolute) to have smaller electorates than Tory ones. For English seats the differences are from 56,000 voters to 80,000 odd (the Isle of Wight is a special case at the very top end). Someone else can go through those seats to see how this bias works but certainly the majority of the smaller seats are Labour, the larger Tory.
Well, so what?
Well, if we\’re going to keep any form of voting that relies upon a constituency, if we\’re going to change the system but not go to regional or national party lists and so on, then whatever the voting system we need to get this constituency thing right.
And, the thing is, if we do get this constituency thing right, then we may well not need to change the voting system……