Our Voting System Is Broken!

Please take a moment to look at these two maps, especially if you voted in the recent General Election (‪#‎GE2015‬).

After looking at the results of the General Election in some detail over the past few days it has become more apparent than ever to me that our voting system in this country is very, very broken! We don’t actually vote for parties (and therefore governments), we simply vote for our local representative. The total number of votes a party receives is not taken into consideration at all, which seems a little strange, particularly when you consider that all through the election campaigns we hear ‘Vote Conservative’ or ‘Vote SNP’, not ‘Vote Bob Smith, your local MP’.

So, being a tremendous geek, I got my hands on all the numbers, created a database and generated the following two images.

The first image is the results as you will have seen them using the First Past the Post method. I merely created this one for reference.

First Past the Post

The second image is the same numbers, this time evaluated using the D’Hondt method for calculating Proportional Representation. This method quite literally calculates the number of seats a party should get based on there proportion of the overall votes cast. I then assigned constituencies to each party (largest first) based on the constituencies in which they received the most votes, thus insuring that (for the most part and where possible) the local representative reflects the local preference.

D'Hondt Proportional Representation

As can be seen, the difference is astounding! UKIP would have 83MPs not 1, the Green Party would have 25MPs not 1, the SNP would have 31MPs not 56!

Seeing these results, I really don’t understand how anyone can argue against the fact that, using PR, we would have a balanced, fairer and more representative government.

Please like and share this if you agree. Lets make ourselves heard.

Also, consider getting involved by liking or joining the Electoral Reform Society (Scotland) and by lobbying your local representatives at Council, Local Assembly and Governmental level. Check out TheyWorkForYou to find out who they are!

NB. these images were made for demonstration purposes only, assumptions are made and errors happen, so if something is wrong its not intentional! These image were made my me (Rob Kent) using the Python programming language, SQLite, NumPy and matplotlib with data from BBC News, the Office for National Statistics and the Ordnance Survey.

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