How the 2015 General Election exposed FPTP

The 2015 General Election exposed serious problems with our First Past The Post (FPTP) electoral system.

Between them, UKIP and the Greens received over 5 million voters. But each party has just one MP each. While the Green’s MP represents 1.11 million, UKIP’s MP represents 3.88 million. Meanwhile, the SNP’s 1.45 million voters have secured the party 56 SNP MPs. That’s one SNP MP representing 26,000 voters.

Compare that to UKIP’s one MP representing 3.88 million voters and it’s clear there’s a problem.  If UKIP had got the same level of representation for its voters as the SNP, it would have another 148 MPs. To put it another way, under FPTP 149 UKIP voters receive the same representation as 1 SNP voter does.

Needless to say Proportional Representation would have given a very different result. With 12.6% of the vote, UKIP would have had 80 MPs (+79). Meanwhile, the SNP’s 4.7% of the vote would have given it 30 MPs (-26).

A concern for everyone

Whatever one’s political views, it is hard to support a system which rewards parties when its voters are highly concentrated in certain areas of the United Kingdom, and punishes parties whose voters are more thinly spread across constituencies. Surely the  ‘one person, one vote’ principle demands that all voters should have an equal voice, irrespective of where they live.

UKIP, the Greens, the Liberal Democrats and other parties may want to set aside their political differences to make the case for a fairer electoral system together. The 2015 General Election has been described as being  “the most disproportionate election in history”.

There has never been a better time to make the case for fundamental reform.