Unrepresentative Democracy: the poison of first-past-the-post.

By Colin Talbot

First-Past-the-Post is not just deeply unrepresentative, it is poisonous to democratic politics. It fundamentally undermines real democratic values. The UK general election has just demonstrated this, again.

UNREPRESENTATIVE DEMOCRACY?

That first-past-the-post (FPTP) electoral systems can produce unrepresentative results is well known. Even in two-party races this can happen, if there is an uneven distribution of votes. In multi-party elections this can be much more distorting.

This election in the UK demonstrates this. In England the Conservatives won just under half the popular vote but almost two-thirds of the MPs.

As the table shows, if the number of MPs were genuinely representative of people’s votes the Tories will have only won 252 seats, not the 345 they actually got in England. The Liberal Democrats would have 66 MPs, instead of the meagre 7 they actually won. Smaller parties like the Greens and Brexit Party would be properly represented. Continue reading