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+++Breaking news: Labour to propose electoral reform+++

June 9th, 2009 Posted in UK Politics by

I know Gordon Brown and the Labour Party have the Midas touch at the moment :-) but I have a horrible feeling they might screw this up.

11 Responses to “+++Breaking news: Labour to propose electoral reform+++”

  1. Ziggy Encaoua Says:


    but what are the chances of getting it all thorough parliament before the next election?

  2. Julian of Lavenham Says:

    We have AV here in Australia. It will hardly make any difference to the two and a bit party system Britain has now. The best change would be the system that operates in Scotland’s local elections and on both sides of the Irish border, namely the Single Transferable Vote in multi-member constituencies. Any moves to Proportional Representation would be welcome, even the Jenkins AV+ if only a minor one, but they haven’t even gone for that! So why the excitement for this news?

    In any case with Labour heading for a pummelling at the next election, only a hung parliament will leave any prospect of an electoral reform referendum actually occurring.

  3. Lee Griffin Says:

    AV will help realign the constituencies so that they are more fairly represented, and that will mean some seat gains and losses. It will also do something to destroy the safe seat situation…not for all but for a lot of the safe seats out there.

    But it isn’t the end system, a nice start but nothing to be completely satisfied with.

  4. Mark Reckons Says:

    AV isn’t proportional and can actually be less proportional than FPTP.

    This is a bad idea and if implemented <a href=””could kill any further reform for a generation.

  5. Julian of Lavenham Says:

    Why would AV help realign the constituencies? It will simply be the same system and boundaries as now (after any normal boundary commission changes). All that will change is that voters will number candidates in order of preference. Any candidate receiving 50 plus percent of the vote in a single member constituency after the transfer of all preferences will be elected. So if the Tory candidates achieve 50 plus per cent of the Vote in every constituency they would end up with 100 per cent of the seats. In theory this could occur with a first preference percentage vote in the low to mid thirties.

    It also leads to other perverse possibilities, in Australia we had John Howard returned with a majority government despite receiving 49 per cent of the National Two-party Preference Vote against Labours 51 per cent. It will also maintain the system in which elections are won and lost in a very few marginal constituencies, thus continuing most electors view that their vote seldom changes anything.

  6. Kasch Says:

    They havn’t even stated that they’re not going for AV+ yet lol

    Weather or not it genuinely changes the system to please the political geeks, they have to do something symbolic, that at least LOOKS like effective reform, increasing constituency links and expanding outreach to engage, enthuse and energise the wider population to become more involved in the political process. Otherwise, turnout will stupidly low, fringe votes will increase and the new Government will not have a strong mandate to do anything.

    Who cares if he’s doing it to screw over the Tories, or if he’s simply doing it to cling onto power… lets just be happy he’s actually making a move on SOMETHING, and that he didn’t cave to calls for an election, where he would have got bitch-slapped by Cameron and Clegg and we would be in the same position as now for the next four years.

  7. plumbus Says:

    ok, this is the absolute minimum they could get away with & not PR but its a crack in the system, it sets a precedent for change.
    incidentally, its impossible to predict the effect of any change because the voters will change their behaviour too. my guess is that simple AV will benefit the Lib-Dems as both Tory & Labour voters will prefer us to each other, a matter of tribes not ideology.

  8. keith elliott Says:

    This is not the absolute minimum they can get away with…it’s an absolute joke.

    AV is not proportional, would not be an improvement in any real sense on the current system and should be stopped, if at all possible.

  9. Julian of Lavenham Says:

    Research undertaken by the Kerley Commission into reform of the Scottish Local elections anecdotally suggests that the Lib Dems will get far fewer transfer preferences than you might expect from Labour or Tory voters, so Lib Dems might gain an extra 20 seats at most.

    In Australia you have to preference all candidates to make your vote count at federal level. However for state elections, in many states you can preference as many or as few candidates as you like. This is what happens in Scottish local elections and both sides of the Irish border, and is therefore likely to be the case for the UK. This could see most labour and Tory voters just casting a first preference, so when their candidates are eliminated, the Lib Dems won’t automatically benefit.

  10. Niklas Smith Says:

    BBC political editor Nick Robinson said the prime minister’s statement will not endorse a change of voting system nor any particular system….

    Our correspondent said Mr Brown chaired a meeting of the new Democratic Renewal Council…which agreed to consider moving towards the so-called alternative vote or AV system….

    The usual habit of starting a “debate” once the government has privately made up its own mind. Didn’t Sir Humphrey mention this once?

    AV is a bad system for parliamentary elections (for presidential-style elections it is good). We might have to settle for AV+, though if we do that we should insist on STV for the Lords/Senate. But AV does nothing to help people unseat a bad MP without voting against his/her party and does nothing to improve proportionality. Both of these things would be achieved by STV.

  11. Mark Littlewood Says:

    My understanding is that AV+ will be the system proposed.

    Prefer STV – and possibly even AMS.

    But will bite your arm off for AV+ anyway