Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Odd election outcome imminent

Since last week's three-way leaders debate, the polls in the upcoming UK general election have put the three main parties all within a few points of each other. Depending on the source, all of them score between 25% and 35% of the popular vote at the moment. In a proportional system that would result in two of the parties sitting down as equals and thrashing out an agreed programme for government. However, with the FPP system in operation in the UK a far stranger result may be about to occur.

According to various models, on a constituency by constituency basis, an election result where Labour with the smallest share of the vote end up with the largest number of seats. This is a result of the concentration of the Labour vote in a smaller number of constituencies. The Liberal Democrat vote is more evenly spread throughout the UK and so in many areas is out polled by one of the other two parties thereby losing the seat. This effect is similar to the gerrymander I discussed a while back.

With all polls now pointing to a hung parliament, this may just be the result the LibDems need to be able to swing public support in favour of a proportional voting system. Whether that is single seat with top up list, PR-STV like we have here or some other system, the days of FPP must be numbered if the results of the election on 6th May are as described above.

No comments:

Post a Comment