On the very day that MPs debated Proportional Representation, a new report by the Constitution Society provided a devastating account of First Past the Post on its own terms.
The Electoral System and British Politics, by research fellow David Klemperer, leaves aside the inherent unfairness of our voting system and its failure to reflect the people. Instead, it focuses on the claimed benefits of First Past the Post.
For example, supporters of First Past the Post traditionally say it delivers stable and effective majority government, that it gives voters a clear choice at the ballot box between two alternative prospective governments, and that it keeps extreme voices out of politics and away from power.
In meticulous detail, the report documents how our voting system no longer delivers the benefits its advocates say that it once did. Instead, it is actively driving the UK towards “fragmented, unstable, and incoherent” politics, empowering relatively extreme voices, and propping up a two-party system that no longer bears any relation to British society.
Klina Jordan from Make Votes Matter spoke at the report launch and we were delighted to work with the Constitution Society to generate media coverage, including a piece in the Guardian and a segment on Radio 4 - in which Helen Goodman MP (Labour) and Johnny Mercer MP (Conservative) discuss and endorse the report’s findings. You can also read our six page summary of the findings of the report here.