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DR writes: It really is time our electoral system was changed.

I've been playing around with [the BBC's swing-o-meter].

It turns out that if each party gets a roughly equal vote, then the results are:
LAB  324
CON  205
DEM  86
OTH  31

For a Labour majority of 2.  Sure, TonyBlair is a VeryNiceMan?, but that's screwy.

Interesting...... and we complain about the American system. Of course ProportionalRepresentation has problems of its own. I did hear a suggestion once to replace the House of Lords with a proportionally representative body and give it a few more teeth. Didn't seem like such a bad idea.--King DJ

As an American, I'm curious as to what the reason for this is. Is it gerrymandering of districts, or something else? -- PyTom
I've seen two explanations.  The first is that the boundary comission, who change the boundaries of electoral districts to make them equal in size, are always behind the actual population migrations, and the current migration from cities (traditional Labour strongholds) to suburbs (traditional Tory strongholds) is favouring Labour, because they need fewer votes to win their seats.  The other factor that gets mentioned is that Tory support is very localised/concentrated (basically most of rural England, plus the more middle-class areas in the cities, forget Scotland and Wales), while Labour are more spread out.  The LibDem vote gets affected by all sorts of tactical voting. --DR
The Electoral reform society seem to think the explanation is mainly differential turnout, with very low turnout in safe seats, especially safe Labour seats. [link]The boundary commission are not always able to ensure that constituencies are equal in population, constituencies generally do not cross county boundaries, and special cases such as Na h-Eileanan an Iar which contains 21900 voters, and the Isle of Wight which has 108253 where geography makes things difficult. --MawKernewek
The BBC? have a decent explanation [here]. --AC

Presumably that is based on an uneven distribution of the vote. "A roughly equal vote" is across the whole country, not in each constituency, isn't it? --Bobacus
It's based on the 2001 distribution of the vote --SF

Update: I just checked the link again.  The BBC must have been fine tuning their parameters.  Now a vote of 30.9 Lab, 31.0 Con, 31.1 Dem, 07.0 Other gives the result:
  LAB  329
  CON  211
  DEM  83
  OTH  23
for a majority of 12 to LAB.

Well, the arguments I have heard in support of the American ElectoralCollege? kind of apply here - the system deliberately gives localised support some representatives, but widespread 'low level' support is deliberately crushed.  (A true first past the post system would have a one-party house... ScreamInTerror? AtWill?)  --Vitenka  (Also noting that their prdiction site will be very very rough anyway, and probably only fine tuned to the likely results)



PoliticalMatters

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