Saturday, May 07, 2005

The Tories should back PR

Being a politics spod, I picked up all the proper papers today - Times, Telegraph, Financial Times, Guardian and Independent - to see the various reactions. All fairly standard. But I also, for the first time ever, picked up the Mail (despite the missus warning me she'd burn it if I brought it into the house). Amazingly, it was here I found one of the most interesting post-election statistics:

The Tories won 60,000 more votes in England than Labour.

Yep, In England, the Tories had 8,086,306 votes to Labour's 8, 028,242.

Of course, we'll have to wait and see who succeeds Michael Howard as leader (if they're sensible, they should go for Sir Malcolm Rifkind - untainted by the failures of the last eight years, top-end cabinet experience, insanely intelligent, easily respectable, at 58 still young enough to lead, in one of the safest Conservative seats in the country and a superb public speaker), but for the Tories to really stand a chance of getting back into power - considering how little success they're still having in Wales and Scotland - their best bet is to try to push through some kind of electoral reform which will see their share of constituencies in England more closely match their share of the vote.

So, it's not just Lib Dem voters who should support electoral reform.

Update: The Campaign for an English Parliament are on the case...

7 Comments:

Blogger Nick said...

Damn, you beat me to a post on this - the Campaign for an English Parliament folks are pushing this line as well, FYI - but I wouldn't be surprised to see one of the Tory modernisers picking up on this in their leadership campaign. The Tories can't actually do anything with this information unless they support electoral reform, IMO, because as they've kept telling us, it's the seats you win that are important, not the votes you get.

5/07/2005 04:19:00 pm  
Blogger Eddie said...

I would sign your petition if you specified what PR system you would like.

I agree we need reform. But I really don't know what to. All I know is that I don't like closed list systems.

5/07/2005 05:06:00 pm  
Blogger Nosemonkey said...

Eddie - I don't know which system would be best - which is why I kept it as vaguely worded as possible. All I do know is that the current system leaves many people's votes effectively wasted and their views unrepresented in parliament, so something needs to change.

One thing I will say is that I don't much like the party list PR system especially - I would like to see people still have a definite local representative in parliament who they can specifically call to account.

5/07/2005 05:16:00 pm  
Blogger Luca's Ade said...

The current totals according to BBC figures with one seat left to declare are

Tories - 8,102,662
Labour - 8,038,965

The difference is - 63,697

Clearly Labour don't have a popular mandate to govern England and whilst I fully support a switch to a PR system it would only go partway to solving the problem. Labour would still have the greatest number of MPs because of the non-English regions. The only solution is to devolve the same powers the Scottish and Welsh parliaments have to a new English parliament elected using a PR system. That way all the unfairness of the current system is removed.

5/07/2005 05:47:00 pm  
Anonymous robin said...

I remember Rifkind when he was in the dept of transport,so I dont want him.

One thing about electoral reform and fairness for England-it will have to be acknowledged as a nation,not a load of regions of Britian.

5/07/2005 05:56:00 pm  
Blogger Toque said...

Thanks for the link Nosemonkey. There is a pdf file that I've uploaded that contains the figures in a reasonably easy to read format http://www.thecep.org.uk/documents/results_of_general_election_05.pdf

Please see the follow up http://www.thecep.org.uk/news/ViewItem.asp?Entry=420

5/07/2005 07:30:00 pm  
Blogger Toque said...

Oh, blogger cuts off URLs!

Well, just go the the CEP and see for yourself.

Nick, I think the Tories could push for electoral reform by pledging to introduce PR to England as part of devolution - let's face it the rest of the UK already has it and their 'English votes, on English Laws' is unworkable.

They would, I expect, prefer to keep elections to the UK parliament as they are and redraw constituency boundaries - this would assuage the fears of the three party triumpherate about lunatic minority parties like UKIP and the BNP getting into Westminster.

5/07/2005 07:35:00 pm  

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