LibLink: Julian Astle – Not finking straight

Over on his Telegraph blog, director of the Centre Forum think tank and former Paddy Ashdown adviser, Julian Astle, casts his analytical eye over a piece on the alternative vote by the Times’s Danny Finkelstein.

Here’s a short extract from the post, but do go and read the whole piece – there are even some charts, for those of you who are that way inclined:

What is remarkable is the movement of the dots from the red and blue triangles into the white area in the centre, showing the growth in the number of MPs (now around two thirds) who do not enjoy the support of a majority of their electors. This is because of the steady increase in the number of votes going to other parties, chiefly the Liberal Democrats, but also UKIP, the Greens, Plaid, the SNP and others. In 2010, in only a small number of constituencies did the ‘Others’ receive less than 20 per cent of the vote. In 1955, the non-Labour/Conservative vote was below 20 per cent in the vast majority of cases.

What does all this mean? It means that we have moved decisively beyond two party politics, yet our existing electoral system is completely unable to make sense of it.

You can read the whole of Julian’s post here.

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This entry was posted in LibLink.

One Comment

  • Old Codger Chris 20th Mar '11 - 11:13am

    Julian Astle’s excellent piece clearly shows why FPTP is even more past its sell-by date now than it was in the 1950s when almost everyone voted Conservative or Labour (it wasn’t even fit for purpose in the fifties – see the 1951 general election).

    The question is whether a non-proportional system giving weight to second (and even third etc) preferences is any better. On balance I think AV is even worse, though I respect the views of those who think otherwise.

    When oh when will the Mother of Parliaments offer the people a voting system which is half-way democratic?

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