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It is indeed a problem

Since leaving frontline politics, Mr Farage has become a host on GB News, a Right-leaning television channel.

He told The Telegraph he would not rule out running in a Westminster election again, but that he had concerns about his chances of success because of Britain’s first-past-the-post electoral system.

“I’ve been overwhelmed in the last month, every day on email, even going to the shops, by people saying: ‘You have got to do something, someone’s got to speak up for us, they don’t represent us anymore’,” he said.

“I managed to win two national elections under proportional representation, but the last time I tried an all-out assault at a general election, I won four million votes and one seat.

As before, it wouldn’t necessarily be Tory votes that went to it either.

Can’t recall where the flipping point is. But there is one. 5 million votes? 6 million? Something. Suddenly you start gaining bucketloads of seats. But it’s getting over that hurdle…..

19 thoughts on “It is indeed a problem”

  1. There’s a selection problem for candidates too. An established party can get over a Hancock or even a Corbyn, but a new party candidate would be toast at the slightest peccadillo, potentially derailing the whole bandwagon.

  2. We had it in my constituency in 2017.

    The Brexit candidate had her tanks parked on the Tory incumbent’s lawn. But she was stitched up on a very minor expenses issue and the replacement candidate lost all the momentum.

  3. I’d like to see Farage leading a new party. As long as he’s learnt his lesson from the first time. Declaring a victory in ’16 & then sitting back with a smug smile was an appalling error. It wasn’t a victory. It was a success in a tactical advance. The true battle was to come. House to house fighting in a built up area. Which is still far from over. The war remains losable.

  4. Is GB News Right-leaning? I have watched GB News, as well as BBC, ITV, and Channel 4, and feel that the former often covers matters in a more impartial way. The presenter starts with a monologue, giving his or her opinion, and then has guests with differing viewpoints, followed by an invitation for comments by viewers, something that never happens on Al Beeb or with Corbyn’s mates on Channel 4. Together with ITV, their reporting seems to be very selective in their wording. The excellent Neil Oliver is certainly worth watching, and I would likely vote for him if he ever sought election where I live. Unfortunately, here, Dolly the cloned sheep would be elected if she wore a blue rosette.

  5. 5 million votes? 6 million? Something. Suddenly you start gaining bucketloads of seats. But it’s getting over that hurdle…..

    It may be a problem for those trying to get going, but it’s still probably best overall. PR can give inordinate influence to single issue parties when the main camps are evenly split (as they often are). To get over the FPP hurdle a party is forced to address wider issues and so has to become less insane. As the Brexit referenderers and Greeners show, it’s possible under FPP to have substantial influence over the main parties with minimal to zero parliamentary representation.

    I’d rather stick with FPP and see Nigel having to develop tent enlarging skills than risk Caroline Lucas holding the balance of power under PR.

  6. “we just need real change”, they say; but when interest rates spike and “creative destruction” threatens their jobs, they suddenly aren’t so keen on change. People like stability, even if it isn’t optimal.

  7. I’d rather stick with FPP and see Nigel having to develop tent enlarging skills than risk Caroline Lucas holding the balance of power under PR.

    Absolutely, as I’ve pointed out before, PR is a system under which the people vote and then the politicians get to decide who has won. FPTP can deliver hung parliaments, but it is the exception rather than the rule, as with PR. No less than Karl Popper has a great takedown here, from 1988, but still valid.

  8. Given the demographic change in the U.K. over the last 30 or so years there are likely a lot more large single interest groups that can rally enough voters to give them an inordinate amount of power as swing votes in parliament.
    The Scottish devolution and rise of the SNP is an example even under FPTP, thankfully we’ve never had a split parliament where they hold the balance of power, yet

  9. The Greens show how they can work with the FPTP system and get an MP. Find an area where 90% of the population agrees with you and start from there. They also know how to beat bad stories since Lucas is so shite at doing her job yet she’s still in place.

  10. They also know how to beat bad stories since Lucas is so shite at doing her job yet she’s still in place.

    Well not really. It s more to do with Brighton. It is a place I abhor, the new inhabitants ( ie since 1990s) are universally horrible stupid people. So they vote for a horrible stupid person.

  11. “The Greens show how they can work with the FPTP system and get an MP.”

    Getting one MP is an exercise in futility.
    You need 325+1 or a solid enough chunk out of the 650 total seats to upset the two-party balance enough to have actual influence.
    And then, of course, keep the lot together and get something actually done. Something even harder than actually getting past the “post” in the UK..

  12. Tele article https://archive.ph/pOlhq

    @Penseivat
    Is GB News Right-leaning? I have watched GB News, as well as BBC, ITV, and Channel 4, and feel that the former often covers matters in a more impartial way

    Right-leaning?

    No, many Left presenters and guests. Labled Right-leaning as the left are generaly old-school left, not wokies. Ann Diamond, Akuna, Dewberry, Andrew Doyle, William Coulston (SDP) and more all left. Lots of black and gay presenters too

    MSM hate GB News because all views allowed… and they must obey Ofcom hence Mark Steyn’s truthful Ukraine reporting stopped [Try YT: Redacted for updates, altCensored.com too]

    William Coulston (SDP)
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G8z9R0SABi0

  13. We have a PR voting system here in New Zealand and a right pig’s ear it is too. It is too complicated to go into here but we get MPs who do not represent a constituency but are picked from a party list in proportion to the percentage of votes cast for that party a sort of “Buggins turn”. I would much prefer a first past the post system.

  14. By definition an independent can only win one seat, even after winning fifty million votes. To do something useful with those votes a party is necessary. But independents are only interested in doing something useful on the limited local scale of a constituency.

  15. @johnd2008
    That’s one of the points Popper makes against PR (see my link above) – it becomes much more important for a politician to get a place high on their party ‘list’ than to follow the desires of their constituents.

  16. Farage has an advantage – he is well known, and as such would generate a lot of publicity. The problem he has is that he doesn’t have a party credible enough to pick up votes from those who are disenchanted and otherwise vote for one or the other of the mainstream franchises, whilst at the same time he would be subject to major attacks from those mainstream franchises. The only way it might work is if there was a single big enough issue on which he might offer a credible and popular approach. Migration isn’t that issue. Economy? Perhaps but he has no more credibility on this than the next man! The NHS? Something that the Labour party weaponised decades ago. The only thing I can think of that might register with voters is law and order. Get rid of the stupid laws and make the Poilce get back to proper Police work

  17. @PJF – “PR can give inordinate influence to single issue parties when the main camps are evenly split”

    You mean if party A at 49% disagrees with party B at 49%, then party C at 2% gets to decide? That’s just democracy – 51% get their way. Your alternative is that 49% get their way.

  18. Not quite, Charles. The parties all issue manifestoes. I like party A’s, so vote for them; you prefer party B’s, so vote for them. If both A and B would have to rely on party C to get a working majority, party C will insist that some of their manifesto (which almost nobody voted for) is implemented as part of the deal (the other part being ministerial positions). If party C is the Greens (as it often is), you’re in a shit-load of trouble.

  19. @Chris Miller

    If party C get any of their policies implemented, it’s with the cooperation of party A, party B, or both, who are entirely to blame for that.

    And it doesn’t get around the issue that letting party A or party B rule with a minority of votes is a problem – very much more if you’re judging manifestos where you may approve of some policies but not others, so actulay policy approval for the policies implemented may be well below 50%

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