A lot of people on the left will raise the flag for proportional representation after this election. They will be joined by Nigel Farage. Because, according to the latest polling figures, in a strict PR system the ultra right-wing Reform UK would be entitled to 101 seats rather than the 5 or 6 they are most likely to win.

Some will look at the chart below and think any system that gives the Greens 37 additional seats must be “fairer”. It is not fairer as such, just different. They will also look at those other 13 seats and see Jeremy Corbyn, Andrew Feinstein and Leanne Mohamad and think how can that be a bad thing?

Look again at Reform. It is shameful that they are about to gain seats in our national parliament, but with 101 seats do you think that you would not be hearing from them non-stop?

Stopping a party winning or enabling somebody to win should not be the goals of a democratic system and certainly not one that seeks fairness. The fact is that dishing out the seats in a different, supposedly proportional, fashion is likely to change little without ensuring that media coverage was proportional. Or that each party was accorded proportionally the same print coverage in terms of negative and positive commentary.

And, whilst the thought of 13 independent socialists in parliament might bring a warm glow, in reality they would be entirely outnumbered and unlikely to do much beyond shout from the sidelines. Much as now.

There is also a fairly standard PR process by which parties have to reach a certain threshold of votes. In most systems it is 3-5%.

And what of independent candidates? Would they have to join a party to take part and in that case how could they be independent?

We should be careful what we wish for.


The best way to enjoy the Election Special is by reading the PDF. You can find it here or just look through here.

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