Less than a third of adults believe British democracy worth celebrating, poll finds

Fewer than one in three adults believe British democracy is worth celebrating, a Make Votes Matter poll has revealed.

The campaign group’s survey of more than 2,000 adults revealed the public’s frustration at the current democratic system, on the eve of the Government’s democracy celebration.

Describing “National Democracy Week”, the Government said that they wanted to “ensure that every member of society has an equal chance to participate in our democracy and to have their say.”

Yet the First Past The Post (FPTP) voting system makes this all but impossible, with elections decided by a handful of marginal constituencies and Parliament bearing little relationship to how people vote, Make Votes Matter warned.

The cross-party movement is calling for the Government to abolish the broken FPTP system and introduce Proportional Representation (PR), which would mean that seats match votes, all votes count equally, and all voices are heard.

Two thirds of those polled believed that seats should match votes, with just over half calling for FPTP to be scrapped in favour of PR.

The polling also revealed:

  • Less than a third felt their vote made a difference in general elections in which they have voted;

  • Just 37% felt their MP would listen to them and represent their views on a matter of personal importance.

The group, which already has the backing of the Liberal Democrats, Green Party, SNP, Plaid Cymru, Women’s Equality Party, UKIP, and a growing number of Labour MPs, held a “Demand Democracy Day” yesterday (Saturday, June 30). Make Votes Matter supporters manned stalls across the country and called for a much-needed overhaul of the UK’s electoral system.

Make Votes Matter co-facilitator Klina Jordan said: “Without a hint of irony the Government, which is only in power because of a voting system that wastes millions of votes, is celebrating the state of British democracy. It would be laughable if it wasn’t so hypocritical.

“This survey shows that voters are sick and tired of First Past The Post, which locks many out of the political system and ignores millions of voices. It is time that all parties came together to bring in Proportional Representation, which would make every vote matter and our society a truly democratic one.”

Make Votes Matter pointed to a long history of the current electoral system denying voters true democracy.

Since 1935, about 90% of UK elections have led to single-party majority Governments, not one of which has had the support of a majority of voters.

The Conservatives and DUP currently share a majority of seats with just 43% of the votes. The 2015 Conservative Government won an outright majority of seats with just 37% of the vote.