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.’

SIGN UP
For your free daily news bulletin
Highways jobs

Education Support Officer for Virtual School x2

Redbridge London Borough Council
£27,228 -28,215 per annum (pro rata term time only)
The successful candidates will have the opportunity to... Homeworking
Recuriter: Redbridge London Borough Council

Housing Occupational Therapy Manager

Royal Borough of Greenwich
£44.607 - £47.511
We are seeking motivated people, who like a challenge, have a commitment to housing and want to help us deliver excellent services. Greenwich, London (Greater)
Recuriter: Royal Borough of Greenwich

Evolve Practitioner (young adults aged 18-25 years)

London Borough of Richmond upon Thames and London Borough of Wandsworth
£25,327 to £36,036 per annum
Seeking a suitably experienced Practitioner who has the drive and creativity to support vulnerable young people to see the best in themselves.  London (Greater)
Recuriter: London Borough of Richmond upon Thames and London Borough of Wandsworth

Team Manager - Family Assessment Service

London Borough of Richmond upon Thames and London Borough of Wandsworth
£42,656 to £51,690 per annum
This opportunity brings with it a chance to oversee and support workers in the team with the intensive direct work we do with families. London (Greater)
Recuriter: London Borough of Richmond upon Thames and London Borough of Wandsworth

Executive Director of Strategy & System Development

Cheshire & Merseyside Health & Care Partnership
Significant Six Figure Salary
Following the appointment of Jackie Bene as Chief Officer, we are now looking to appoint an Executive Director of Strategy & System Development Cheshire & Merseyside
Recuriter: Cheshire & Merseyside Health & Care Partnership

Public Property

Latest issue - Public Property News

This issue of Public Property examines how how flexible workspaces can lead the way in regeneration for local authorities, Why local authority intervention is key to successful urban regeneration schemes and if the Government’s challenge of embracing beauty is an opportunity for communities.

The March issue also takes a closer look at Blackburn with Darwen Council's first digital health hub to help people gain control over health and care services.

Register for your free digital issue