Chris Terry's blog

16 Mar 2017

Local spending matters when votes aren't equal

Today we have seen the consequences of a violation of the rules on campaign spending, one facet of the way political parties are funded. Yet the Electoral Commission’s fine of the Conservative party for breaching reporting rules on party spending highlights bigger issues in our political system. Campaign spending rules exist for a key reason. Britain’s first past the post electoral system rewards […]
13 Jan 2017

How will the 2017 French presidential election work?

After last year’s political whirlwind, attention has turned to 2017’s elections for evidence of further shocks. Voters are going to the polls in the Netherlands, in Germany but most attention is focused on France, whose election takes place in April and May, and where the far-right Marine Le Pen currently polls in first place. On the centre-right the candidate of choice is Francois Fillon, who […]
9 Nov 2016

How Trump won the Presidency despite not winning the most votes

So that sure was an election. Whatever happened in the US presidential election it was always going to be a historic moment. On Tuesday I pointed out that Donald Trump could win the Presidency even if he did not win the most votes . Trump decisively won the electoral college, and therefore the Presidency. But Clinton won the popular vote by nearly 3 million votes . Clinton won the popular vote by […]
8 Nov 2016

How Trump could win the Presidency even if he doesn’t win the most votes

It’s election day in the United States, and that means all the pageantry and spectacle one comes to expect with democracy in the world’s most powerful nation. The spectacle of a US election also reminds us of the way the US elects its presidents: an electoral college elected state by state. Each state gets a number of Electoral Votes equivalent to their congressional representation – the number […]
5 Sep 2016

Referendums are in vogue - so let's get them right

Referendums are becoming increasingly popular, internationally and domestically. Since the first UK referendum in 1975, the UK has held three nationally, and 11 in UK countries or English regions, with even more at a local level. And since the Conservatives came to power in 2010, two national referendums, a Scottish Independence referendum, and a Welsh devolution referendum have all been held. It […]
4 Jul 2016

In Australia, as in the UK, the voting system is at breaking point

In 2010 Australia delivered its first hung parliament since 1940. A seemingly freak one-off, the election followed a period of unrest in the incumbent Labor Party (ALP) who had replaced their Prime Minister Kevin Rudd after just two and a half years in the job. The opposition Liberals had themselves faced major internal tensions – but shocked observers by running the ALP close. A hung parliament […]
7 Jun 2016

A Mayor for the Bucharest of Us

Photo: Palace of the Parliament, Bucharest Bucharest, Romania’s largest city and capital, has had a rocky four years since the 2012 local elections. The city is governed by a city-wide mayor and general council, and divided into six pizza-slice shaped sectors each with their own mayor and council. Of the seven mayors elected in 2012, six are subsequently either in prison or under investigation […]
7 Apr 2016

The Other EU Referendum

With only 76 days until polls open in Britain’s EU referendum there is now a diminishing amount of time before the campaign reaches its zenith. Yet, it may have escaped the notice of many Britons that theirs isn’t the only EU referendum this year, for yesterday, across the North Sea, voters in the Netherlands voted on Ukraine’s Association agreement with the EU. The agreement between the EU and […]
23 Feb 2016

Obvious Route for Australian Senate Reform Ignored

Interest in the Australian political system has been building over the last couple of weeks over a proposal to make some notable reforms to the electoral system for the Senate. Each of Australia’s six States elects 12 senators, regardless of population, and there are two senators for each of the two ‘autonomous territories’ (the Northern Territory and Canberra). Normally half of the Senators are […]
5 Feb 2016

Time for a Registration Revolution

Today is National Voter Registration day, launched by our friends at Bite the Ballot . Voter registration is an integral part of our democracy. If you’re not registered you can’t vote. Electoral boundaries are now also drawn based on the register , meaning under registration could lead to distortions in the boundaries. In December 2015 Britain finished the biggest change to electoral registration […]