First Past the Post

19 May 2017

The Conservatives just pledged to take our democracy back decades

Yesterday Theresa May launched the Conservatives’ manifesto. There was a lot of talk about ‘moving forwards’. But one pledge stuck out as doing the exact opposite. Theresa May has pledged to impose (or in the manifesto’s words , ‘extend’) First Past the Post for Mayoral, Police and Crime Commissioner elections, and – though still to be confirmed – the London Assembly . We won’t mince our words […]
18 May 2017

Electoral reform returns to the agenda in British Columbia

British Columbia, Canada’s most Western province, has often been the site of electoral reform intrigue. In the run up to the 1952 provincial election the Conservative and Liberal parties tried to stop the socialist Co-operative Commonwealth Federation (CCF) from winning a majority by changing to the Alternative Vote system. Instead the Social Credit party emerged as the largest and changed the […]
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 […]
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 […]
31 Oct 2016

Calling for ‘progressive alliances’ is brave. But it should never be necessary

This article was first published at LabourList Last week, three Labour MPs did something that takes courage. In calling for Labour to stand aside in Richmond Park, they were pushing for a more collaborative form of politics – one of pluralism and inter-party cooperation. On Wednesday, they wrote for LabourList: “If there is any chance of kicking Goldsmith out of Parliament, the vote against him […]
18 Jul 2016

Electoral Reform in Parliament again

Two of our issues are back in the House of Commons this week as Caroline Lucas, the Green Party MP for Brighton Pavilion, will be presenting her ‘Electoral Reform (Proportional Representation and Reduction of Voting Age)’ motion. Whilst ‘ Ten Minute Rule ’ motions of this kind rarely become law, they provide a chance for MPs to support a motion they care about and a chance for arguments of both […]
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 […]
1 Jul 2016

Brexit and our broken electoral system

This is a guest blog, originally published by Noel Longhurst . The opinions expressed here are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect those of the Electoral Reform Society. Ever since the result of the EU referendum became clear early last Friday morning, those on the side of Remain have sought to point the finger of blame. Depending on your particular perspective, Leave voters, David […]
6 Apr 2016

Move House for Electoral Reform! Facts behind our April Fools

Whilst the day-to-day effects of First Past the Post for communities around Britain is closer to a tragedy – for one day a year we attempt, along with everyone else, to spread our message using light comedy. Our April Fools Day post in 2015 went with the message of ERS Say Everything Is Fine whilst listing all the ludicrous effects of First Past the Post – an electoral system great for 1 st April […]
4 Jan 2016

Our top ten most read blogs of 2015

2015 was the busiest year ever for the Electoral Reform Society blog, with monthly readership over double the level we had in 2014. As we get stuck in to 2016, we thought we’d look back over the top ten most read blogs of 2015. The dash for cash At number ten we had the news from May that over £100,000,000 was donated to ten political parties in the run up to the 2015 election, more than double […]