The three-step case against first-past-the-post.

Our voting system is blatantly unfair.

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Nothing better demonstrates the unfairness of our electoral system than these three charts, all based on the results of the 6 May election:

1. Share of the vote


2. Share of seats

3. Votes per seat

It should be noted that things are not as bad as they once were. As John Cleese reminds us (courtesy of this archive clip), when the Social Democratic Party/Liberal alliance got 26 per cent of the vote in 1983, in effect, 340,000 votes were required to elect the MP for each of the 23 seats the alliance won.

To put that last chart another way:

Seats won per 100,000 votes

  • Conservative 2.8
  • Labour 3.0
  • Liberal Democrat 0.8


Jon Bernstein, former deputy editor of New Statesman, is a digital strategist and editor. He tweets @Jon_Bernstein. 

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