May. 7th, 2010

yodathedark: (biohazard)
Just did some maths about proportional representation.

Quick primer: proportional representation (PR) is where seats on government are decided by national vote share, not number of seats.

Now, I was for this before I did the maths - anyone can see it's an unfair system currently. But here's the brief run-down of how it worked out.

Con: 235 seats (36.1%)
Lab: 189 seats (29.0%)
LD: 150 seats (23.0%)

So we can already see that the Tory's have lost a significant number of seats (235 compared to 306). Labour are down 69 seats, but the Lib Dems are up 93 seats.

Onto the smaller parties, and we still see significant change.

DUP: 4 seats (0.6%) ~ -4
SNP: 11 seats (1.7%) ~ +5
Sinn Fein: 4 seats (0.6%) ~ -1
Plaid Cymru: 4 seats (0.6%) ~ +1
SDLP: 3 seats (0.4%) ~ +0
Green: 7 seats (1.0%) ~ +6
Alliance: 1 seat (0.1%) ~ +0
UKIP: 20 seats (3.1%) ~ +20
BNP: 12 seats (1.9%) ~ +12
UCU: 2 seats (0.3%) ~ +2
English Democrats: 1 seat (0.2%) ~ +1
R-U Coalition: 1 seat (0.1%) ~ +1
TUV: 1 seat (0.1%) ~ +1
Christian: 1 seat (0.1%) ~ +1
ICHU: 1 seat (0.1%) ~ +1
TUSC: 0 seats (0.0%) ~ +0
SSP: 0 seats (0.0%) ~ +0
Others: 7 seats (1.1%) ~ +6

Now, these numbers aren't perfect. They don't take into account the actual percentages for independent candidates or the smaller parties. (They also total to 653 seats instead of 650), but they represent the will of Britain better than the actual seats do.

Now, the BNP and UKIP might have 32 of the seats by my count, but they also have 5% of the national vote behind them. Are those 32 seats going to be able to achieve much without winning the local seats as well? Not really.

But what PR does mean is that the smaller parties are better represented. The Green Party, under PR, instead of having just 1 seat in the Commons, would have 7. SNP would have 11 instead of 6.

What PR has done (using yesterday's election results) is take 57 seats from the big parties (after more fairly distributing them between them) and given those to the smaller parties who weren't being represented - despite holding significant vote share.

So even though BNP and UKIP get 32 seats from PR, I'm still in favour of it. Giving power to the people who actually represent the people isn't a bad thing.

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