Author Archives: Anthony Tuffin

The Independent View: Benefit the nation and the voters

If the Liberal Democrats get about half UKIP’s votes (8% against 14%) but about 10 times as many MPs 20 – 30 against 2 – 3), will the Liberal Democrats stand by their principals and demand electoral reform?  In particular, will they insist on the Single Transferable Vote (STV), which they have always recognized as the best voting system for voters?

The Liberal Democrats have had five years now to learn the hard way what some of us warned in 2010, based on our observations of continental Europe where coalitions are normal; the senior partner takes the credit for popular decisions and blames the junior partner for unpopular ones.

If the Liberal Democrats had got STV for this election as a condition of entering into coalition in 2010, they could now be looking at winning about 52 seats for about 8% of the vote.  Admittedly, UKIP might be expecting about 91 seats but, if that is what voters want, so be it.

The real point of electoral reform is not to benefit this or that party but to benefit the nation and the voters.

With electoral reform for this election, the SNP could expect about half the Scottish seats (30) for about half the Scottish votes instead of all the seats (59) for half the votes and not be in pole position now to hold the UK to ransom.  Please see David Green’s excellent exposition on for more on this.

Posted in Op-eds and The Independent View | Tagged , and | 21 Comments

The Independent View: STV for local government in 2015!

STVactionThe Liberal Democrats’ mistake in 2010 was not to insist on STV for electing MPs – but merely to accept a referendum on a miserable little compromise – as a condition of entering into a coalition. This is not recriminatory. I appreciate the problems and pressures of negotiating a coalition and that senior Lib Dems wanted to create stability and help repair the damage to the economy.

I say it was a mistake not just with hindsight. I have believed it for about 50 years.

Posted in The Independent View | Tagged | 42 Comments

The Independent View: How Lib Dems can achieve STV for local government

STVactionMay’s elections changed the political landscape to a four-party one and, if the old two-party First Past The Post (Winner takes All) voting system looked wobbly in a three-party system, it now looks totally discredited in a four-party system.

The recent election results gave credibility to the prediction of the recent New Statesman article that the result of the 2015 general election will be similar to that of February 1974 –  most votes for the Conservative Party but most MPs for the Labour Party. The crucial difference between 1974 and 2015 is that Labour will probably not even have the slim overall majority in 2015 that it had in 1974, hence another balanced parliament.

How would Liberal Democrats react? Recently Nick Clegg said “no” to another coalition at any cost. So what are the Lib Dem conditions?

Posted in The Independent View | Tagged | 13 Comments

Opinion: They’re bidding for Lib Dem support!

Let’s get the most we can – especially on voting reform!

The Tories say, quite rightly, that Labour (about 29% of the votes) and Lib Dems (about 23%) lost the election but then they go on to claim they won with only about 36% (just over one in three)!

The fact is that the public decided collectively that it did not trust any one party to govern.

In terms of votes any two of the three main parties has a moral right to govern by coalition. It is nonsense to say that a Labour/Lib Dem coalition has no right to form …

Posted in Op-eds | 36 Comments

Opinion: Go for STV!

I liked it when a woman asked Gordon Brown in a radio phone-in whether he would support the Tories or Lib Dems if no party had an overall majority and Labour came third. However, to be realistic, the chances are with our ridiculous voting system that Labour will come at least second in seats even if it is third in votes. So, if no party has an overall majority, the Lib Dems are more likely than any other to hold the balance. How would they use it? Could they achieve PR by STV with it? …

Posted in Op-eds | Tagged , and | 20 Comments

STV: System for The Voter

Only STV can make MPs really accountable to voters on their expenses claims and local issues, or major decisions on war and peace, the environment and the economy – indeed all issues. Only STV offers voters a genuine choice of candidates from the same and different parties, which must be essential for anyone who believes in freedom, choice and freedom of choice.

The current scandal of MPs’ expenses and allowances has triggered a popular demand for reform and some people think that proportional representation (PR) should be an important part of a reform package. PR has many advantages; it would for example:

Posted in Op-eds and The Independent View | Tagged | 9 Comments
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Recent Comments

  • User AvatarChris Cory 27th Jan - 6:00pm
    A couple of "points arising", if I may. Thank you for this piece, Paul. It's not often we have a chance to look at the...
  • User AvatarTim13 27th Jan - 5:54pm
    Judith Abel Raising the tax threshold was NOT a good idea, for two reasons: 1 Because it lowered standard rate tax for everyone, not just...
  • User AvatarMohammed Amin 27th Jan - 5:52pm
    I agree with Nick Tyrone about the Labour Party's views on our party. However that does not preclude tactical alliances where appropriate.
  • User AvatarJohn Roffey 27th Jan - 5:49pm
    David Raw 27th Jan '20 - 3:49pm Tell me, John, are you based in the South East of England ? South East David. I hoped...
  • User AvatarMohammed Amin 27th Jan - 5:48pm
    I am extremely dubious. Firstly the EU now regards the arrangements that have been built up as a patchwork with Switzerland as somewhat unsatisfactory, and...
  • User AvatarJudith Abel 27th Jan - 5:37pm
    But surely Barry supporting the Lib Dems because they are not the two main parties will only ever take the Party so far. It is...