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.’

Supporting young victims of domestic abuse image

Supporting young victims of domestic abuse

Steph Waddell says it’s time for a serious long-term commitment from government to improve understanding of what works in supporting children affected by domestic abuse.
SIGN UP
For your free daily news bulletin
Highways jobs

Adults Social Workers - Colchester

Essex County Council
£32065 - £43839 per annum
Adults Social Workers - ColchesterPermanent, Full Time£32,065 - £43,839 per annumLocation
Recuriter: Essex County Council

Adult Social Workers - Basildon

Essex County Council
£32065 - £43839 per annum
Adult Social Workers - BasildonPermanent, Full Time£32,065 - £43,839 per annumLocation
Recuriter: Essex County Council

Senior Procurement Manager x3

Essex County Council
£51000 - £60500 per annum + + Flexible Working & Local Gov Pension
Category and Supplier Relationship Specialists x3Fixed Term, Full TimeUp to £60,609 per annumLocation
Recuriter: Essex County Council

Information Governance Lead

Greater Manchester Combined Authority
£41,881 - £45,859
We are recruiting for Information Governance professionals who will be ambassadors of information governance excellence within... Greater Manchester
Recuriter: Greater Manchester Combined Authority

Security Analyst

Essex County Council
Up to £45597 per annum
Security Analyst Permanent, Full Time £41,000 to £45,597 per annum Location
Recuriter: Essex County Council

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