What if we’d had a fairer voting system last May?

The New Statesman has a series called “Data Hound”, which appeals to me. Last/this week they ran an article on Voting Systems, which is not yet on the web. I thought it was quite good fun, so I have re-produced the graph here. They make the point that Alternate Vote, is not proportional, but that while “First Past the Post”, our current system, may exaggerate the victory of unpopular parties, “Alternate Vote” may exaggerate the victories of popular parties.

I argued earlier this week that there were principled reasons  for supporting AV and I hope that most people will vote on the basis of principle and not on the basis of party advantage. So while examining the potential results of last May is fun, I am not sure it should be a major factor in making one’s mind up.

What the idea above does for my argument that we need to restrain the ‘elective dictatorships’, I am not sure, but below, is what the House of Commons would have looked like under “First Past the Post” FPTP, Alternative Vote AV or Single Transferable Vote STV, a more proportional system similar to that used in the European Parliament elections.

If we'd not been using FPTP in May 2011

If the Liberals had had a choice, what would they have done?

In any event, I shall be voting Yes for fairer votes.

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