William Eichler 16 April 2019

Brexit deadlock reveals need for ‘fairer’ voting system, campaigners say

Brexit deadlock reveals need for ‘fairer’ voting system, campaigners say  image

Electoral reform campaigners are urging politicians to re-start the conversation about proportional representation ahead of the local elections.

In order to mark the 50th anniversary of the Representation of the People Act tomorrow, the Electoral Reform Society is calling for a discussion on making the franchise fairer.

Scotland and Northern Ireland use the single transferable vote (STV) to elect local councillors, and Wales is planning on moving away from the first-past-the-post system.

The ERS argues the same should happen for elections to the UK Parliament.

‘Two-party First Past the Post politics is not working for voters or this country, as the current Brexit deadlock has highlighted,’ said Darren Hughes, chief executive of the ERS.

‘The existing system is meant to produce “strong and stable” Government – but the reality is that voters want to “shop around” more than ever, meaning the system is unable to cope.

‘The result is volatile voting leading to random results – and increasing disillusionment among voters.

‘A proportional voting system would not only give voters real choice but would encourage parties to work together – helping to mend the huge fissures in our society.

‘Adopting the model for local elections in Scotland and Northern Ireland would ensure every vote counts and revitalise politics for good.’

Mr Hughes also argues that it is time for Westminster to join Scotland in giving the vote to 16- and 17-year olds.

‘On the 50th anniversary of extending the vote to 18-year olds, it is now time to learn from the success of votes at 16 in Scotland and embrace a fairer franchise for the whole UK,’ he said.

‘When they vote, 16- and 17-year olds actually have higher rates of turnout in Scotland than 18-24-year olds. In the 2014 Scottish independence referendum turnout among 16-18-year-olds was 75%, with 97% of those who voted saying they would vote in future elections.

‘Evidence has shown that they accessed more information ahead of the vote from a wider variety of sources than any other age group – showing that 16-year-olds are more than ready to engage in the democratic process in an enthusiastic and informed way.’

Highways jobs

Head of Audit and Governance

Tamworth Borough Council
Up to £49k + £5000 shared service allowance
Looking for people who are excellent communicators, are adventurous and who are inspired by our values... Tamworth, Staffordshire
Recuriter: Tamworth Borough Council

Divisional Manager – Revenues, Benefits & Customer services

Chichester District Council
£51,354 to £55,167
We are looking for an exceptional candidate to lead the Revenues, Benefits & Customer Services division. Chichester, West Sussex
Recuriter: Chichester District Council

Senior Team Leader

Redbridge London Borough Council
£35,992 to £38,994 per annum inclusive
Looking for individuals with initiative, evidence of experience in managing a street cleansing service and motivating... Redbridge, London (Greater)
Recuriter: Redbridge London Borough Council

Residential Keyworker

London Borough of Richmond upon Thames and London Borough of Wandsworth
£19,156 per annum
This is an exciting time to join the school. In our recent OFSTED of the residential department. London (Greater)
Recuriter: London Borough of Richmond upon Thames and London Borough of Wandsworth

Commissioning Manager

Camden London Borough Council
£40,829 - £47,360 per annum
Looking for an ambitious person who can communicate well and understands how to analyse and translate qualitative and... Camden, London (Greater)
Recuriter: Camden London Borough Council

Local Government News

Latest issue - Local Goverrnemnt News

The March issue of Local Government News explores alternative funding channels that are available to councils beyond the Public Works Loan Board, what hurdles merging councils face in coming together, and how local government is handling GDPR.

This issue also has a special highways and street lighting section exploring how councils can use lighting to embark on their smart city journey and using IoT technology to weather the storm.

Register for your free magazine