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Voters in Wales ‘systematically ignored’ by Westminster’s FPTP system, report finds

31 Jul 2021 2 minutes Read
Picture by Luke Stackpoole.

Votes cast in Senedd elections are almost twice more representative of voting share than those in UK general elections, a report has found.

The Electoral Reform Society has used voting data from elections held since 1997 to compare the Senedd’s PR style voting system against Westminster’s first-past-the-post approach.

The analysis reveals that the mean difference between vote share and seat share, referred to as a DV score, is just 15 points for Senedd elections while it’s 27 for Westminster FPTP elections.

Jess Blair, Director of ERS Cymru, said: “Westminster’s one-party-takes-all voting system is failing to represent voters here in Wales.

“Across the last seven UK general elections, the leading party  has got 71  percent of seats on  just  44 percent of votes  cast in Wales.

“While there’s some way to go to further democratise the Senedd, Westminster is almost twice as warped in terms of seat share.”

Devolution

The ‘Here to Stay’ report is published on July 31st to mark the anniversary of the devolution bill which paved the way for two PR-elected governments in Wales and Scotland.

Senedd elections use a voting system, known as the Additional Member System (AMS), which combines FPTP for constituency seats with a form of proportional representation (PR) for regional seats.

One of the main criticisms of Westminster’s FPTP system is that it fails to fairly reflect voting share with parties able to get a majority of seats without needing a majority of votes.

The report found that across the past six Senedd elections, Labour has won 48.1% of seats, having received 34.4% of regional list votes, a more proportional outcome than UK general elections in Wales.

Jess Blair added: “It’s no wonder people feel distant from MPs when so many go ignored. We have an electoral system for the Commons that systematically silences Welsh voters – and it’s time for change.

“There is a crisis of democracy in the House of Commons, with unfair results skewing the issues that get heard in Parliament, the voices that speak up for Wales, and the resources that get directed here.“

In 2011, the UK Government held a referendum on replacing FPTP with an AV (Alternative vote) election method but this was rejected by 67.9% of voters.

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#1Chris
#1Chris
1 month ago

No! Really? 🙄

GW Atkinson
GW Atkinson
1 month ago

Voting for the English parliament is an absolute waste of time. I just don’t see the point when the English get the government they want and we end up being stuck with it no matter what.

#1Chris
#1Chris
1 month ago
Reply to  GW Atkinson

It’s worth doing though just to try and prevent your borough being taken over by a pimp like Jamie Wallis

GW Atkinson
GW Atkinson
1 month ago
Reply to  #1Chris

Only to be replaced by another judas from an English party.

Cath
Cath
1 month ago
Reply to  GW Atkinson

Could you be just a little bit more reductive, please? I’m trying to lose weight and I want to vomit up this morning breakfast. I bet you are dead popular down the local innit? Always there with the down to earth wisdom “They’re all the same”, “I tell you what, none of them have done an honest day work..” “I’d bring back the rope to be honest, some of them just can’t be helped” “there’s plenty o’ jobs out there, these zooms that they have now are just lazy” “they want everything handed to them on a plate, what happened… Read more »

#1Chris
#1Chris
1 month ago
Reply to  GW Atkinson

Lesser of 2 evils if we can avoid a procurer of immoral services though

Cath
Cath
1 month ago
Reply to  #1Chris

Indeed…living in the same town as Sarah Atherton was bad enough, now that she is M.P. for the Tory Mob it’s like waking up with a giant dogs anus in the sky all day that craps out platitudes and nonsense, she does PRECISELY NOTHING good for the town and just does as her Tory Underboss tells her to do. She’s a nurse that seems to hate the NHS. But that is what you get when you allow the Conservatives (who aim to conserve the circumstances of their wealth and power) to run amok: grifters, robbers, con-artists and liars,…

Erisian
Erisian
1 month ago
Reply to  Cath

Come on Cath, take the gloves off, I sense you are holding back here 😉

Cath
Cath
1 month ago
Reply to  GW Atkinson

Well considering the fact that there is now a Tory government in power that is actively trying to take powers away from Cymru and if there are enough votes in the next English General Election we could get rid of the Tory Mafia and thus put a halt to their power grab and continued attacks on us culturally (Muscular Unionism or whatever they are calling it) with a view to enacting greater oppression upon us, I would think that there is a very good reason for people who yearn to see a day when Cymru is free and the people… Read more »

j humphrys
j humphrys
1 month ago
Reply to  Cath

Great stuff. Plaid C. Wrecsam!!

Steve Duggan
Steve Duggan
1 month ago

It won’t change while the two main parties and increasingly just the Tory party benefit from the system. The only way we will be properly represented is by gaining independence and electing our parliament with full proportional representation.

Erisian
Erisian
1 month ago

FPTP fails voters everywhere it is used. I am 67 years old and never cast a vote that made one Iota of difference until I turned my back on England and moved to Wales

Erisian
Erisian
1 month ago

Ah yes, AV the forgotten referendum. A deliberate stitch up of the Lib Dems by pig fancier Cameron. If only the over-excited Nick Clegg had held his nerve and waited he might have pressured labour into allowing a referendum on a far better voting method than the odious AV, which let’s face it, would have pleased no-one anyway.
And best of all… we would have been spared a Cameron Government

Mark
Mark
1 month ago

is this another report that has been paid for by the tax payer, just to tell us what we already know, wouldn’t their time, money, and effort be better spent fighting for an improved voting system or educating school kids about politics. I suppose politicians find it easier to lie to the uneducated masses rather than fight an educated electorate

Kerry Davies
Kerry Davies
1 month ago

It is always worth voting but in 2019 Johnson’s Tories gained a 157 seat majority in England so the enire UK remainder, with 117 seats, might as well not have bothered.

Even in England they got 65% of the seats with 47% of the vote so when I hear the phrase “mother of parliaments” and “parliamentary democracy” I have a strange urge to locate a Tory just to have somewhere appropriate to vomit.

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