27 Jun 2011

Popular Democracy – the return of people power?

On Saturday a packed room at Compass’s 'Building the Good Society' conference belied the idea that people are bored with debates on democratic reform. The meeting, hosted by the ERS, stressed the importance of looking forward and considering the challenges and opportunities our democracy faces. The panel of speakers all agreed that the collapsing trust in our democratic institutions needed to be […]
9 Jun 2011

Welcome to the new website!

We hope you like the new look and please do get in touch and tell us what you think. But this is a only small part of the bigger changes we are making here at the Electoral Reform Society... In light of the AV referendum result we have been looking hard at what we are here to do and how we can best work with our friends in other organisations and people around the UK with a passion for reform. We […]
31 Aug 2010

Kicking the B*stards out

We hear time and again of the way First Past the Post lets voters ‘kick the b*stards out’ – a colourful reference to the perceived ease with which voters can turf out one government and neatly replace it with another. It's a view that goes almost unquestioned, including by many reformers, so we thought we'd have a closer look. It's obvious that the 2010 election was unusual - not because of the […]
19 Jul 2010

Miliband vs Miliband - AV in Practice

There’s talk about how the upcoming Labour leadership election may define the coming referendum on the Alternative Vote. Well let’s take a look. Britain isn’t lacking in examples of AV in practice. Variants are used in almost every internal election for Labour and Lib Dems , by all MPs in selecting Speakers and Committee chairs, anyone who's been to university (and remembers what a Sabbatical […]
6 Jul 2010

AV: A bigger and better change than people think

Nick Clegg yesterday confirmed a date – 5 May 2011 – for a referendum on the Alternative Vote (AV). Since the Coalition agreed to a referendum on AV, we in the Electoral Reform Society research office have been inundated with queries from sitting MPs. More often than not, they’re after projections of how AV might have affected the most recent general election. In short, they’re worried about how […]
5 Jul 2010

What does a mandate look like?

You might find this question being revisited a few times over the next 10 months. And that’s because we heard today that the proposed referendum on the Alternative Vote will take place on May 5 th 2011. AV requires every MP to have support of at least 50% of voters. Doesn't seem like a big leap, that is until you look at the numbers, and the General Election gave the majority of our MPs power […]
25 Jun 2010

Does Size Matter?

We’re hearing a new line on the proposed reduction of the House of Commons. Nick Clegg told the Commons yesterday that “We have a more oversized lower Chamber than any other bicameral system in the developed world.” By our reckoning, there are only ten countries with bicameral systems in the developed world (fourteen if you include presidential systems with bicameral legislatures), so it’s a […]
2 Jun 2010

8 out of 10 Cats prefer PR

Good news for reform. Well sort of. Polling today is suggesting overwhelming support for a shift to PR. As many as 8 out of 10 people are agreed that a shift to a more proportional system would be a step in the right direction. Welcome news. But some commentators are already picking up on the contradictions in this poll. And it’s worth taking a closer look. 78% agreed and 18% disagreed with the […]
19 May 2010

The New Politics of Coalition Government

Here we find ourselves, trapped in the dreaded hung parliament scenario, and despite some nightmarish predictions from our tabloid fortune tellers— economic collapse , societal breakdown , nuclear apocalypse —things seem to be ticking along okay. Since the result became clear, the leaderships of all three major parties acted in uncommonly diplomatic fashion to reach a workable outcome. While […]
10 May 2010

The Election that might have been

Britain’s new political map is simple. Just take a look . We have a blue south, a red north, and a few spots of yellow in between. But it’s not a map most voters would recognise as legitimate after last week's broken election. Whole counties and cities are now the personal property of one party. Once again First-Past-the-Post has generated results that stretch the idea of ‘representative’ […]