Fair Franchise

5 May 2015

A personal history of First Past the Post 1950 – 2010

This blog is a guest piece by one of our members, Alan Errock. I’m now 86 and have voted in election after election, but my vote has seldom counted towards the result. Here is my history of a life under First Past the Post. I was 21 years old (the voting age at the time) in March 1950 and was living in my parents ' home in Nottinghamshire at that time. I completed a degree in Physics with […]
power of influence
22 Apr 2015

A divided democracy

How democratic is Britain? On the face of it, pretty democratic. We tick all the boxes: fair elections, a free press, free speech and assembly, the right to petition and more. But look a little deeper, and there are massive political inequalities that mean the UK is far from as democratic as it could be. Most of us instinctively know this – that some people have far more of a say than others. And […]
Ballot papers
17 Apr 2015

Three days left

However you decide to vote after last night’s TV debate, you need to do one thing first: there’s just three days left to register to vote , with the deadline on the 20 th of April. Encouragingly, 25,000 logged on after the challengers debate to do so. That’s because it’s easier to do than ever, and takes less than five minutes - about the time it takes to make a cup of tea. And you don’t even […]
10 Apr 2015

Do you live in a safe seat?

The outcome of this election is, on the whole, unpredictable. Who will form the next government is the question on everyone’s lips. But in hundreds of seats across the country, people already know the result. In Britain’s many ‘safe seats’, this election’s outcome is sadly a foregone conclusion. In fact, so safe are some of these seats that we’re confidently predicting the outcome in 368 […]
Northern Irish Elections
20 Mar 2015

A sectarian voting system

The announcement by the two main unionist parties in Northern Ireland that they have entered into an electoral pact for the up-coming general election highlights a major problem with our electoral system. The idea that parties step down in some seats to maximise their votes in others through an alliance with another party is a direct result of the outdated First Past the Post (FPTP) system. In […]
16 Mar 2015

Shifting boundaries

With the General Election now just weeks away, and speculation about possible coalition arrangements taking centre stage, it would be easy to overlook a very important and immediate legislative priority that the new government, whatever its composition, needs to address. So it's welcome that this week the House of Commons Political and Constitutional Reform Committee has published a report […]
4 Mar 2015


I’m pleased to be going to Green Party conference at the ACC Liverpool this weekend, representing the ERS. Sign our petition to introduce proportional representation for local elections There’s lots to be discussed at the upcoming conference, as it’s an exciting time for the Greens in the run-up to the election, particularly with a rising membership. But the party has to deal with an extremely […]
manchester devolution
25 Feb 2015

Democratising Devo Manc

The ERS has long campaigned for devolution to the local level, but the Society also campaigns for proportional representation at a local level. Here ERS Deputy Chief Executive Darren Hughes outlines why they should go hand in hand. Sign our petition for a fairer local voting system The decision by the government to devolve responsibility for health funding - around £6 billion - to Greater […]
26 Jan 2015

'Reinforcing' Syriza

Much excitement in the European press today as Greece’s left-wing, Eurosceptic and anti-austerity Syriza has come two seats short of an absolute majority in the Greek parliamentary election, allowing them to form a coalition with the right-wing, Eurosceptic Independent Greeks. Yet Syriza won only 36.3% of the vote, giving them 49.7% of the seats. And together the two parties have only 41.1% of […]
14 Nov 2014

Updating our democracy

Today the Political and Constitutional Reform Committee has published an excellent report, Voter engagement in the UK . It sets out a series of recommendations on how to re-engage people in our representative democracy. We gave evidence to the Committee earlier in the year, and we're delighted to see some of our recommendations taken forward. Voter disengagement is the central political challenge […]