How electoral reform would have changed the result

Labour and the Lib Dems would have a majority under a different voting system.

Interest in electoral reform appears to be at an all-time high (I never thought I'd see "proportional representation" trending on Twitter), but how would Friday's result look if we'd already abandoned first-past-the-post?

Thanks to some expert number-crunching by the Electoral Reform Society, we now have some idea.

First-past-the-post

Election FPTP

Above is the result as it stands. The Tories won 36 per cent of the vote and 47 per cent of the seats, Labour won 29 per cent of the vote and 40 per cent of the seats and the Lib Dems won 23 per cent of the vote but just 9 per cent of the seats.

Single Transferable Vote

Election STV 3

But if we rerun the election under the Single Transferable Vote (STV), the proportional system favoured by the Lib Dems, a very different picture emerges. The Tories fall 60 seats to 246, while Labour falls 51 seats to 207. Meanwhile, the Lib Dems gain no fewer than 105 seats and rise to 162.

The Electoral Reform Society used data from a recent ComRes poll to work out where people's second-preference votes would go.

It's worth noting that under STV, Labour and the Lib Dems hold 369 seats between them, well over the 326 needed for a parliamentary majority. Had Labour abandoned its conservative instincts and opted for proportional representation, the chance of a coalition with Nick Clegg's party would now be much higher.

The Alternative Vote

Election AV

But if we rerun the election under the alternative vote, which is not a proportional system, the result is far less striking. Labour goes up four seats to 262, the Tories fall 25 seats to 281 and the Lib Dems rise 22 seats to 79.

Still, it's worth noting that in this scenario Labour and the Lib Dems again easily pass the 326-seat threshold, with 341 seats between them. Thus, even moderate electoral reform would significantly improve the chance of a "progressive coalition" in the future.

If, as now looks likely, the Lib Dems reach an agreement with the Conservatives, we can expect many accusations of betrayal. But it is worth remembering, looking at these figures, that it was Labour, made arrogant by its landslide victories, that betrayed the Lib Dems on electoral reform.

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George Eaton is political editor of the New Statesman.

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Could tactical voting stop Brexit?

Could tactical votes soften the Brexit blow?

Could tactical voting save Britain from the hardest of exits from the European Union?

That's the hope of Open Britain, which has unveiled a list of 20 seats held by supporters of a hard Brexit (19 Conservatives and one Labour MP, Kate Hoey) in areas that either split evenly in the referendum or backed a Remain vote, and a list of 20 seats held by pro-Europeans: among them Labour MPs Pat McFadden and Liz Kendall, Liberal Democrat MPs Nick Clegg and Tom Brake, and Caroline Lucas, the Greens' sole MP. (Read the full list here.)

"Remain group seeks to oust pro-Brexit MPs" is the Guardian's splash. The intiative has received the thumbs up from Peter Mandelson on Newsnight and Tony Blair in the Guardian. But will it work?

A quick look at the seats in question shows the challenge for anyone hoping for a pro-European front to frustrate Brexit. Theresa Villiers has a majority of more than 7,000 over Labour: and if you're a voter in Chipping Barnet who backed a Remain vote because you were worried about your house price, is Jeremy Corbyn really the answer to your problems? (That said, it's worth noting that thanks to the scale of the 2015 defeat, Chipping Barnet is one of the seats Labour would have to win to get a majority in the House of Commons.)

Or take, say, Kate Hoey in Vauxhall, one of the few people in Labour who can claim to be a unifying figure these days. Yes, she is deeply unpopular in her local party who have mounted several attempts to remove her. Yes, Vauxhall voted heavily to Remain. But - as Jessica Elgot finds in her profile for the Guardian- it also has a large amount of social housing and has more children living in poverty than all but 51 other seats in the House of Commons. There are a great number of people who believe their own interests are better served by sending a Labour MP to Westminster rather than refighting the referendum.

That's a reminder of three things: the first is that the stereotype of the Remain vote as people straight out of the Boden catalogue misses a number of things. The second is that for many people, Brexit will take a back seat.

But the big problem is that you can't make an anti-Brexit - which, by necessity, is essentially an anti-Conservative - alliance work if the main anti-Conservative party is so weak and unattractive to most people. "Voting pro-European" may give Labour's Corbynsceptics a way to advocate a vote for Labour that doesn't endorse Jeremy Corbyn. That doesn't mean it will succeed in stopping Brexit.

Stephen Bush is special correspondent at the New Statesman. His daily briefing, Morning Call, provides a quick and essential guide to British politics.

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