Isn’t this a surprise

The Liberal Democrats’ revoke policy “alienated large chunks of the population” during a general election campaign that resembled a “high speed car crash”, an internal inquiry has found.

After all, we’d just had a test, even an election campaign if you like, on this very point. And basing your appeal on the side that lost has a certain hubris to it…..

51 thoughts on “Isn’t this a surprise”

  1. The electorate was following the rip it up and start again policy – just the it was the party not article 50.

  2. The fundamental problem with the “Revoke policy”* was that it played very well with the existing membership the previous summer which is hardly surprising, since being a paid up Lib Dem without fundamentally supporting the EU in all manner of things would be pretty retarded.

    The difficulty was that there was no way this would play with the wider electorate, even those who staunchly supported remain because it was fundamentally undemocratic and while your average remain voter might support the revocation of Article 50 Notification, to do so without even the democratic sticking plaster of a second referendum was a bridge too far.

    One thing that the report doesn’t really address is that Jo Swinson was simply unappealing to the wider electorate. She came across as (yet another) shrill feminazi with an overinflated sense of her own ability and self-importance. This is despite already having lost her seat in 2015 to the SNP’s John Nicholson, an event from which she seemed to have learned absolutely nothing.

    The same is true of the evidence around the message that Jo Swinson was going to be prime minister. That message, whether fairly or unfairly, went down very badly, a fact that was picked up reasonably quickly in the polling and on the doorstep, and yet it was still being used weeks later. Part of the problem is the long lead-in time for leaflet-based campaigning but the theme continued for too long in other formats: ‘It took us the best part of five days to stop [Jo] saying it in press interviews’, a senior staffer told us.

    From Page 46 of the Lib Dem’s post-Election Review

    Put simply, if you’re going to ignore the elephant in the rooms (and the Lib Dems had several that they simply skimmed over or avoided in the published review), then you demonstrate that you have neither “learned any lessons” from the defeat and probably have no ability to learn those lessons.

    Quite why people still elect Lib Dems is beyond me, but then as a member of the Vote Leave campaign team which they despise without end, I suppose that’s probably part of the reason why.

    * – Revoking BRExit’s Article 50 Notification, essentially without further discussion with the electorate

  3. It’s a good thing. They didn’t chase the mushy middle, they nailed their colours to the mast of a definite policy. That’s what democracy is supposed to be about. That it was a daft policy is not the issue. After all, none of them had ever met a leaver, they didn’t have to, they knew leaving was not just wrong but evil.

  4. There really is no point to the LibDems. They only really have two policies, fervent belief in the EU and PR. The first of those is dead in the water and they have become an obstacle to the second; people don’t support PR because they think it might give the LibDems undeserved influence.

  5. Brexit Derangement Syndrome was and remains their problem.

    Indeed, but then again, if any of the parties were going to suffer from BDS it was going to be the Limp Dims, especially under Jo Swinson.

    Going back to the point about Revoke being a big problem (to say the least) the New Statesman article from December 2019 “Lost in Remainia” covers most of the salient points, points which the Lib Dems review glosses over or ignores.

    Most controversial was her embrace of a policy of revoking Article 50 outright if the party won the election – a major shift intended to preserve the Lib Dems as champions of Remain while Labour inched towards backing a second referendum.

    The policy had a certain logic: to revoke Brexit the Lib Dems would have to win 326 seats – an indisputably overwhelming mandate. But it appears to have backfired, with many moderate Remainers complaining that revoking Article 50 without a second referendum would be undemocratic, divisive and extreme.

    Vince Cable called the policy an unhelpful distraction. Another senior party member said it was “a grave strategic mistake and wrong in principle”. He told me Swinson was turning the Libs Dems into “the party of the metropolitan elite” and ignoring its more traditional, lower-income members outside London and its environs.

    “I don’t think there’s any evidence that it puts off Remainers,” Swinson counters. “It gives us clarity on the issue… Most people hear little bits of news on the radio as they’re driving the kids to school or going home from work and we need to make sure the thing they know about the Lib Dems is they want to stop Brexit.”

    https://www.newstatesman.com/politics/election-2019/2019/12/lost-remainia

  6. Don’t ever the cherry on top of the pile of shit – their policy to give men in dresses access to your daughter’s changing room. Won’t be mentioned in the media but this sort of stuff goes down very badly even with people suffering from BDS. Even they aren’t ready for uber-woke insanity like that.

  7. PR has problems. Many parties in the government, everything is based on consensus and some parties/ministers openly critisise and sabotage their own government. No big policy changes are feasible as you might have the greens, communists, conservatives and agrarian parties in the government. It is easier for extremist nutters to gain power (greens, communists).

  8. So all-in-all their policy was designed to appeal to a core of about 20% of their existing vote, a tremendous general election strategy.

  9. PR has problems. Many parties in the government, everything is based on consensus and some parties/ministers openly critisise and sabotage their own government. No big policy changes are feasible as you might have the greens, communists, conservatives and agrarian parties in the government. It is easier for extremist nutters to gain power (greens, communists).

    It’s not just that. If you want evidence of what PR gets you then the 2010-2015 Coalition was a pretty good example. Sure, it helped Dave Cameron, because he was able to ignore the Eurosceptics in his own party, but it certainly didn’t help the Limp Dims (hence their hammering in the 2015 General Election)

    As was mentioned elsewhere the biggest downside of PR is that it would mean that the larger parties are held hostage to the smaller parties (particularly the Limp Dims and the Greens) to no real benefit of the majority of voters. I can certainly understand why the Limp Dims are in favour of it, but I can’t see the electorate having any greater enthusiasm for it than they did last time when it was rejected by more than 2/3rds of the electorate.

  10. “since being a paid up Lib Dem without fundamentally supporting the EU in all manner of things would be pretty retarded.”

    Given the LDs are (were?) quite strong in the West Country, which also happens to be a region that was heavily pro-Brexit, one suspects that there were quite a few LD members who were attempting to to square that circle in their heads.

  11. Given the LDs are (were?) quite strong in the West Country, which also happens to be a region that was heavily pro-Brexit, one suspects that there were quite a few LD members who were attempting to to square that circle in their heads.

    I mean, I suppose you could be a Lib Dem voter based upon their local initiatives, education, etc…but a party member? I think I stick with my original assessment that they are just retards…

  12. Alan Clark had a neat observation about them in his diaries, to the effect that their MO was to localise everything to give rise to headlines like, ‘Newton Ferrers mums outface Whitehall’. The point being, they’re strong local campaigners, but with no wider unifying characteristic.

    You could perhaps that most clearly with the CFP which has had them speaking from both sides of their mouths for decades, depending on the audience.

    And yet. Aside from the willingness to sacrifice anyone and anything to win elected office, what unifying characteristics do Labour or the Tories have? And in this willingness, are they any different from the Lib Dems?

  13. A few bits that stuck out to me:

    “Previously net-positive ratings for Jo fell during the campaign. There was clearly a lot of misogyny and sexism at play, and Jo’s appeal to women also fell significantly during the election.” (The second part of the sentence rather undermining the lazy attribution to misogyny. There was misogyny against Swinson I’m sure, but it doesn’t seem likely that was the main driver of her fall in the polls if her ratings with women also fell. The review never considers what voters actually thought of Swinson and why she fell in the polls. Did they find her too hectoring, too daft in her proclamations of being next PM etc? The party must have info on this from polling and focus groups, it’s interesting they’re looking at ways to blame the electorate for their misogyny rather than engage why both men and women were put off by Swinson.)

    “Decision making in the election was unclear. Those who were supposed to be leading ‘on paper’ were
    often not leading ‘in person’ because decision making was being taken elsewhere; often in the leader’s team and sometimes by Jo herself. This not only slowed things down but concentrated decision making in a small group whose belief in the leader and the mission was so strong that challenge was at best ignored and at worst actively discouraged. It also hindered a culture of working together in a spirit of collaboration.” (Now this is actually surprisingly critical of Swinson personally and her domineering leadership style. The review only points this out because of the impact it had on how smoothy their campaign operated. It neglects that many voters who saw the way she was running the party, very much as its national figurehead, might also have been put off by her style.)

    “Of the main parties the Liberal Democrats will have the highest proportion of female MPs at 64%, most of whom were elected with strong majorities. While we have only 11 MPs, that balance is a benchmark we should strive to maintain as we seek to gain more.” (Once you’re past 50% then why should higher equal better? That’s the sort of uncritical thinking on ‘diversity’ that even puts off some of its natural supporters who instinctively dislike various unfairnesses they can see operating in society but don’t want an extreme counter-reaction nor diversity for diversity’s sake alone.)

  14. I particularly liked “Despite the real promise in the detail, the perception overall was that we didn’t offer anything that might appeal to those who had voted for Brexit…” – you literally had a slogan “B****cks to Brexit”! Which naturally insults anyone who might have done so even if they weren’t fervent Brexit voters. Incidentally that slogan is not mentioned anywhere in the report – I think it should be as it is one of the few pieces of Lib Dem messaging (albeit one preceding the election campaign) that actually had cut-through and the general public had heard of. I bet if you did an opinion poll voters would instantly have recognised that as a Lib Dem message of whereas their official slogan of “demand better” and then “a brighter future” – well whoever remembers those ones? I follow politics quite closely yet I had completely forgotten them or maybe never even noticed.

  15. Given that Jo Swinson was such a disaster, I struggle to understand why the Lib Dem report wasn’t more critical of the obvious failings. Perhaps it is because she’s gone so the thinking is “No lessons to be learned there then” or even a more simplistic “Play the ball, not the man” (or woman in this case).

    The reality though is that it doesn’t matter who the leader is, they need to avoid the same mistakes that Jo Swinson did.

    “Previously net-positive ratings for Jo fell during the campaign. There was clearly a lot of misogyny and sexism at play, and Jo’s appeal to women also fell significantly during the election.”

    Jo Swinson’s continual claims of sexism and/or misogyny (both in her campaign and in the book she wrote when she was thrown out of Parliament in 2015) are all very well, but when you keep banging on about it all the fucking time then, like Diane Abbott continually making everthing about racism, the general public gets tired of it and simply switches off.

    It’s not necessarily either sexism or misogyny that male voters refused to vote for a shrill feminazi that literally offers them nothing other than more hectoring.

    What was worse was that whenever the obvious flaws in her campaign were highlighted she always took that as a personal attack (and therefore presumably sexism / misogyny from the mainly male political correspondents).

    So, one lesson that should have been learned but clearly won’t be is “Don’t elect shrill feminazis as your party leader”.

    Then again, anything which increases the unelectability of the Limp Dims is to be applauded.

  16. I’d be interested if Rocco could arrange a video of a rug-munching session between Layla Moran and Jo Swinson.

  17. John Galt said:
    “I can’t see the electorate having any greater enthusiasm for it [PR] than they did last time when it was rejected by more than 2/3rds of the electorate.”

    I think this discussion has happened here before, but PR has never been put to the British electorate. What was offered in the electoral reform referendum was a Single Transferable Vote in single-member constituencies – nothing to do with PR at all.

    The model proposed didn’t even attempt to be proportionate. PR increases the number of seats gained by small parties; the proposal would probably have increased the number of seats gained by centrist parties.

    To drag this back to the current discussion, a big part of why the electoral reform referendum was lost was that it seemed designed to give the Lib Dems over-representation.

  18. “basing your appeal on the side that lost”

    For a party that generally gets less than 20%, there’s a possible advantage in backing a losing side that got 48%. Their problem wasn’t that Remain was the losing side, but that most Remain voters weren’t very committed Remainers. A lot had been taken in by Osborne’s “Project Fear”, which by the election wasn’t holding up well.

  19. How is this even possible though? Twitter assured me that 99% of the country hates Brexit, Boris and DRUMPF.

    JG – She came across as (yet another) shrill feminazi

    As for my people, children are their oppressors, and women rule over them. O my people, they which lead thee cause thee to err, and destroy the way of thy paths.
    Isaiah 3:12

  20. BF: but didn’t Layla Moran describe herself as a Pansexist (have I got that wrong?), so it has to feature a goat somewhere…

  21. MBE – There was misogyny against Swinson I’m sure

    I dunno. Maybe? I always complimented her tits though.

    Seems like women often fall into the trap of equating criticism or opposition with either a deeply personal attack or some global patriarchal conspiracy.

    Otoh, we elected a PM who was routinely smeared as a woman-beating compulsive liar who was also Literally Hitler*. If Boris had rolled around in the mud with his haters, crying about Turkophobia or whatever, instead of offering a sunny smile and a cheeky thumbs up, would he have won so handsomely?

    *It got rather confusing because Jeremy Corbyn was also Literally Hitler, perhaps they should start a rock band called The Fuhrers

  22. @Steve

    I don’t see any point denying the existence of misogynistic and racist opinions and behaviour in the UK. Or anywhere else really, nowhere’s utopia. And Swinson was at the wrong end of some of it. But being defensive about it doesn’t solve anything – your Boris analogy is good though he actually gets more “he isn’t even really British” stick, albeit from the nuttier parts of the spectrum, for being born American. Using sexism as a “the voters were wrong, YET AGAIN” smokescreen to ignore looking at why Saint Jo didn’t go down well with them (and the driving factor clearly wasn’t misogyny) seems daft in an election review where the leader’s unpopularity was a big part of their defeat. Especially when you immediately acknowledge women didn’t like her either.

  23. Using sexism as a “the voters were wrong, YET AGAIN” smokescreen to ignore looking at why Saint Jo didn’t go down well with them (and the driving factor clearly wasn’t misogyny) seems daft in an election review where the leader’s unpopularity was a big part of their defeat. Especially when you immediately acknowledge women didn’t like her either.

    I wasn’t sure about that, since I basically skimread the document, but I searched for “popular” (and by definition unpopular) and there was no mention of it, so they just seem to be ignoring the fact that St. Jo was fundamentally unpopular with the voters and the more they saw of her on the gogglebox the more unpopular she became.

    What’s the point of a “Review” where you ignore the most significant aspects (leadership and presentation of said leadership)?

  24. MBE – I don’t see any point denying the existence of misogynistic and racist opinions and behaviour in the UK.

    Me neither, I just don’t think it’s important. The main purpose of kvetching about -isms isn’t to achieve a “fairer” society (for whatever that means), it’s virtue-twerking and crybullying packaged as “poor me :(”

    Nobody forced Jo Swinson into a burkha, and nobody’s oppressing David Lammy or Diane Abbott. These are exceptionally privileged people who’ve been given monetary rewards and positions of authority well in excess of any actual talent, ability or merit they’ve ever demonstrated.

    Summat weird happened to Western culture in the 90’s, I don’t remember people in positions of authority using purported victimhood as currency before then – most folks would’ve been insulted at the idea of being pathetic victims. Even insanely rich and famous slebs want you to think they’re poor losers now, due to Patriarchy or race or genderfeels. Contrast the joyously hedonistic chad George Michael with the caterwauling virgin Sam Smith (no bully plz).

    Ayn Rand had a good line about this:

    an oriental bazaar where leprous beggars, of spirit or matter, compete for attention by displaying their sores

    Lions, I tell ye. Lions!

  25. John Galt said:
    “What’s the point of a “Review” where you ignore the most significant aspects (leadership and presentation of said leadership)?”

    The point of a review is to get control over what happens next. So the things you want to change are presented as the cause of the problem, whilst the problems caused by the things you want to keep are airbrushed out.

  26. Summat weird happened to Western culture in the 90’s, I don’t remember people in positions of authority using purported victimhood as currency before then – most folks would’ve been insulted at the idea of being pathetic victims.

    My interpretation of the period was that the likes of Lammy, Abbott and their ilk saw how race baiters like Al Sharpton, Jesse Jackson et al had managed to secure alternative forms of political power, prestige and money by appealing to the racist prejudice and forming a politically effective narrative (even if it was complete bullshit) stirring up their own communities.

    The point of a review is to get control over what happens next. So the things you want to change are presented as the cause of the problem, whilst the problems caused by the things you want to keep are airbrushed out.

    Fair enough, just a form of political façadism then? What I don’t understand then (if that is the case) is quite what problem they are trying to target? Since the vast majority of the Lib Dem problems are caused by voters rejecting the Lib Dem leadership, values, message and approach.

    Elect a new set of voters perhaps?

  27. Steve: I am duly enlightened. Batons then, though that’s a bit clichéd, no?

    Perhaps the report laid off her in case she cried. It’s as good an explanation as any other.

  28. They ignored the 20%-25% of the member and voter base that voted Leave like me. I joined the Liberal Leave campaign, but because I saw it was a done deal by The Establishment didn’t do anything other than resignedly put my cross in the box. When leave won after the surprise I started pushing for something like “ok, let’s plan a liberal post-EU future, spread the hands of international friendship and trade without being in a political union, UK&Ireland Common Trade Area Mark Two”, but it was drowned out by OH MY GOD, WHAT’S HAPPENED??? THE WORLD HAS ENEDED!!! WHERE AM I GOING TO GET MY LATTES?

    Free-trade internationalist Brexiteers like me were lumped in with the protectionist little-Englanders as all being the Deplorables whose votes were not worth sullying with. Ignoring the hard reality that most LibDem Parliamentary targets are in Leave areas where a reconciliation with reality and an acknowledgement of their concerns would have won dividends.

    The LibDems turned into the anti-UKIPs, fixated on a single policy to the exclusion of all else.

  29. I had artwork returned by the Royal Mail because of the headline “Bollocks to Brexit” – *nationally* *produced* artwork. You would expect that if HQ had supplied the artwork, then you would natually expect that they were supplying artwork you could use. I had three hours to re-work it and send it back and hang around for another delivery slot.

  30. Did they recognise that the labour and Tory defectors from the Independent Party weren’t well respected for their actions and taking them in just because they were anti-brexit didn’t help the Lib Dem’s

  31. I don’t see any point denying the existence of misogynistic and racist opinions and behaviour in the UK. Or anywhere else really, nowhere’s utopia. And Swinson was at the wrong end of some of it.

    Was Swinton really at the wrong end of misogyny? The only evidence I have seen is her moaning about it. She’s simply not at all likeable: a career politician with zero real life experience, arrogant and hectoring but thin-skinned and defensive. She wasn’t even able to hold on to her own seat, never mind win nationwide support.

    @jgh – I had no idea Liberal Leave was a thing

  32. She wasn’t even able to hold on to her own seat

    I think you mean “she wasn’t even able to hold on to her own seat TWICE”. That’s a measure of how awful she was. This was illustrated in the polls when the more airtime she got the more unpopular she was. Quite how the Limp Dims are able to ignore this fact I have no idea.

    Are they worried she’s going to come back as leader?

  33. Bloke in North Dorset

    Previously net-positive ratings for Jo fell during the campaign. There was clearly a lot of misogyny and sexism at play,

    Of the main parties the Liberal Democrats will have the highest proportion of female MPs at 64%, most of whom were elected with strong majorities.

    They can’t even be consistent withing their own document. If we’re all misogynists how come 220 women got elected to Parliament? As long as they hide behind misogyny they’ll never really understand when they selected such a crap leader.

    At east Corbyn is claiming misandry.

  34. I’d have found more appealing, if I wasn’t such a bastard… Seems to be the message here.

  35. M’Lud calls it as it is, above. There’s little to chose between the Limp Dims, the Tories or Labour. Swinton’s shrill hectoring. FFS! May got a majority on shrill hectoring. The Labour bints do nothing else. The only reason you’re dissecting the LD’s is you’ve become inured to the Big Two. They both want to foist policies on the electorate the electorate doesn’t want. They both want to tell people what they should do rather than ask them what they want. The problems that they’re the same things for all three parties. There is no choice

  36. When I was first involved in local politics what seems like two lifetimes ago, I used to explain to people “we’re a *democratic* party, that means we ask you the people, the demos, what you want and we work out how that can be delivered. You want the library open all day Saturday? Well the options include eg halfday on Monday and swap that to Saturday, etc.” That was turned upsidedown in 2016.

  37. MC: At the time I’d chat with people in Green Leaves and Left Leave and we’d metaphorically hold our heads in our hands when the Leave Campaign shot itself in the face yet again. And as far as the media was concerned it was Nigel Farage vs Decent Nice People.

  38. Here’s Karl Popper (pbuh) explaining why PR is a much worse electoral system than FPTP. (Unless you’re a minor party that thinks it has a chance of holding the balance of power.)

  39. One factor not mentioned was Lib Dems lies in election leaflets, even BBC, ITV reported this. Many graphs etc had a 4pt footnote of “blah, blah, our projections, polling, canvassing blah, blah”

    President of the Liberal Democrats Sal Brinton “Apologises” for “Misleading” Campaign Leaflets
    https://youtu.be/-zEjszJDyb4?t=43

    .
    Layla Moran: violent ex-teacher harridan. I’m sure her pupils had nightmares

  40. @bis

    “May got a majority on shrill hectoring”

    Well it’s really the fact that she didn’t get a majority that led to us having a 2019 election at all.

    But yes, clearly the misogyny in this country isn’t so severe as to stop a woman becoming PM or getting most seats in an election. Or even, as BIND cheekily points out, winning seats comfortably for the Lib Dems…

  41. ‘Here’s Karl Popper (pbuh) explaining why PR is a much worse electoral system than FPTP. (Unless you’re a minor party that thinks it has a chance of holding the balance of power.)’

    Thanks Chris. I’d never seen that one. As we have Single Transferable Vote in Oz, it’s interesting to see such a good argument against it.

  42. MBE–Marxist cockrot. Again. No wonder your ears are burning.

    Steve–That crack team from Longleat have got a lot of chewing to get through.

  43. @Chris @Boganboy It’s a shame that Karl Popper wrote that without actually understanding PR. He makes a perfectly valid argument against the forms of PR, such as the “party list” system, which grant power to political parties, but it is quite possible to achive PR with a system that does not recognise political parties at all, such as how Ireland implements it with STV. In the Irish system the only recognition of parties is that a candidate may choose to have a party affiliation listed by their name on the ballot paper. I think this is how Australia does it where it uses Hare-Clark, but I haven’t actually seen such a ballot paper.

    He is completely wrong about how loss of an election in a PR system is unlikely to lead to party changes. That is a matter of fact to be assessed by looking at the world – not by a philosopher thinking he knows how people will behave.

    He is also wrong about policies. He seems to think that each party has one policy so they can be judged on that. In reality, parties have many policies and sometimes the major parties agree on a policy, while usually they do not (this is because they are competing for votes, so they have no incentive to put effort into something which does not differentiate them from other parties). In FPTP, you usually get a choice between two alternatives, so you end up voting for whoever has fewer policies you dislike, rather than in a healthy PR system where you will have a wider choice. FPTP is an especially bad system as it can elect the worst candiate.

  44. The real reason why the LibDems did so badly in 2019 is that Swinson said she would never put Boris in number 10. Since the 2019 election was determined by the very large number of people who wanted anyone but Corbyn, this was a fatal blow to the LibDem’s chances.

    Realistically, and despite them occasionally have delusions of majority rule, their role in politics is to act as a junior partner to prevent another party getting everything they want. As such, they need to be willing to join with any party, merely demanding a small influence to get a little of what they want and block a little of their partner’s more extreme policies. Deviation from that is not a way to win votes.

  45. He is completely wrong about how loss of an election in a PR system is unlikely to lead to party changes.

    Somewhat wrong? possibly. Completely wrong? No.

    How often under PR have we seen coalitions brought down and their constituent parties have simply reassembled under the same failed politicians and with the same failed policies where the only “change” has been relative strength or weakness of the parties given the latest election results.

    The parties haven’t changed, the leaders haven’t changed and (for the most part) the policies haven’t changed.

  46. Karl Popper’s article: I agree with him on PR, but disagree with him on striving for a two-party system. I grew up in Sheffield. With a two-party system, wanting to kick Labour out would mean slicing your own throat and voting Conservative. A two-party system only gives you one choice of “not them bastards”. A choice of one is not a choice. With multiple parties if you want to stop being stabbled in the heart you have a choice of not having your throat slit.

    On PR I agree with the the way he’s put it – the biggest flaw in PR is Party List PR – you are forced to vote for a party not for candidates. (cf UK EU elections.) That’s part of why I support STV rather than PR, and have had many arguments with party members who stand up and declaim “we need PR!” No we don’t you moron, and that’s not even Party Policy.

    What STV gives you is not PR, but a horizontal spread of the existing vertical representation. Instead of all the wards in West Trumpton voting 50% Orange Party and consequently always getting 15 Orange Councillors and the 30% who voted Brown Party are essentially ignored, and in East Trumpton where they vote 50% Brown Party and get 15 Brown Councillors and the 30% Orange voters are ignored, with STV West Trumpton would elect 12 Orange and 3 Browns, East Trumpton would elect 12 Brown and 3 Orange. If you want all 15 councillors, work harder! And it lessens the grip of Parties.

    I’ve described STV for council wards, because that’s where it’s most workable. Almost all (UK) council wards are already multi-member divisions, half of councils already have all-up elections so voters are used to voting for (typically) three candidates, and across a single council most wards are generally within a small range of geographic sizes. If you used multi-member seats of Parliament, you would be forced to have one constituency “Everything North Of Perth”. The existing one-member “Highlands” seat is already huge, making it big enough to be a multi-member seat would cover a third of the entire country.

  47. @Charles
    You’re repeating the cry of the socialists – when a PR system fails, it’s because it wasn’t ‘real’ PR. I would hold up the recent shenanigans in Germany as a near perfect illustration that Popper was broadly correct: electorate moves decisively right, government remains unchanged and moves (if anything) leftwards. If you admire the system in Eire, there’s no hope for you.

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