Saturday, 8 May 2010

Electoral Reform? Don't bank on it.

Before the election, Nick Clegg was a nonentity. Then the media made a celeb out of him, and got all feverish in expectation that his TV appearances would boost the Libdem vote beyond any previous election results.
Did it happen?
No way.
Despite all his abundant TV time and the £3.5 million in illegal donations to his party, the Libdem vote remained very little changed. It is fair to say that if he had not had those grossly unfair advantages, the Libdem vote would have declined.
Here in Oxford East we were so swamped with Libdem leaflets we could hardly push our way out of the front door. They still didn't win.
Now the leader who has lost five seats for his party is being regarded as having the right to choose our next prime minister. What is fair or legal about that?
The Libdems have wavered and dithered about every policy for the past twenty years, remaining steadfast only in their blind allegiance to the EU and in the matter of electoral reform. The two propositions are, of course, contradictory. Why does it matter who sits in our Westminster parliament, if the Libdems are quite happy to give away all the powers of that parliament to Brussels? Why campaign to reform a puppet parliament?
But mere considerations of sense and logic will not deter the Libdems. They have long said they are in favour of electoral reform.
Will they use this opportunity to get it? To force it through at long last? I wouldn't bet on it. This afternoon there was a demonstration in London for proportional representation. Clegg responded with a woolly speech talking about "change" but committing himself to nothing. Typical.
To a Libdem, PR stands for Public Relations more often than Proportional Representation.
I would not be in the least surprised to see Nick and Dave get into bed with eachother. They are basically very similar, and could work together far more cosily than either of them would with Gordon Brown.

Party Seats Gain Loss Net Votes % +/-%

Conservative 305 100 3 +97 10,681,417 36.1 +3.8
Labour 258 3 94 -91 8,601,441 29.1 -6.2
Liberal Dem 57 8 13 -5 6,805,665 23.0 +1.0
UK IP 0 0 0 0 914,811 3.1 +0.9
Green 1 1 0 +1 284,566 1.0 -0.1

The Conservatives got 10 million votes and 300 seats. Labour got 8 million votes and 258 seats. UKIP got nearly a million votes and no seats. With proportional representation UKIP would now have about thirty MPs. What's the betting that the corrupt old parties will gang up together to prevent that from happening?

33,000 Conservative or Labour votes = 1 seat.
280,000 Green votes = 1 seat.
915,000 UKIP votes = no seats

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