Campaigners want to change electoral system


CAMPAIGNERS who want to change the electoral system are planning a series of online meetings and local events in Warrington.

They have already manned a street stall in the town centre and are planning more in the future.

The Warrington “Make Votes Matter” group are part of the national campaign group of the same name which campaigns on changing the existing first past the post electoral system for House of Commons elections, and replacing it with a system of proportional representation.

Ian Wilson, one of the local organisers, said: “In last year’s local elections in Warrington, Labour won 36 seats, compared to 11 seats for Conservatives. That may give the impression that Labour is three times as popular in our town, but nothing could be further from the truth.

“In actual fact, the total Labour vote across the whole of Warrington was 39 per cent, whereas the Conservatives were only 2 per cent behind on 37 per cent..
That is quite an alarming disparity, and is a consequence of a faulty electoral system. The fairest and most effective form of democracy is one in which the number of seats won matches the votes gained. There is a simple way of fixing this, and that is by adopting a system of proportional representation.”

Fellow campaigner Andy Watson said “First past the post distorts how we vote. The current Conservative Government won 56 per cent of the seats in the general election two years ago despite only getting 43 per cent of the vote.

“In 2005 Labour got a similar proportion of the House of Commons seats despite only getting 35 per cent of the vote!.
Since being eligible to vote 29 years ago, I have voted in seven general elections and only once have I voted for a winning candidate. Even on that one occasion, I did vote for a winning candidate, it was not crucial whether I had turned up to vote or otherwise, as I lived in a safe seat at that time. Votes should matter and we need people to make our elected representatives aware that this is a matter we do care deeply about.”

The Warrington Make Votes Matter group is planning forthcoming online meetings and local events to further the cause of Equal Votes. Andy Watson can be contacted at [email protected].

A petition calling on local MPs to back PR can be found on the Make Votes Matter website.


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