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8 May 2010updated 27 Sep 2015 2:21am

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

Our voting system is blatantly unfair.

By Jon Bernstein

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

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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.

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To put that last chart another way:

Seats won per 100,000 votes

  • Conservative 2.8
  • Labour 3.0
  • Liberal Democrat 0.8