Denseman on the Rattis

Formerly known as the Widmann Blog


Why are the Tories so keen on FPTP?

Stone balanced tower
Originally uploaded by gilest

In the UK, the LibDems want to introduce STV (which they argue is the best form of proportional representation – I’d prefer the Danish system), and Labour have recently decided to support AV; however, the Tories remain committed to FPTP (although they want to reduce the number of constituencies by 10%, which they probably think will help them).

I’m a bit puzzled, though.

The current system is helping Labour at the expense of both the Tories and the LibDems (although it hurts the latter much more, of course).

In other words, the current system is making it almost impossible for the Tories to get a decent majority.

Is it just because they remember the 1980s so fondly that they can’t imagine never getting a decade of unrestricted power again?

Realistically, the rise of the three-party system means that’s very unlikely.

If they really think single-party majority government is so superior, shouldn’t they aim to introduce an electoral system that gives 350 seats to the largest party, 250 to the second-largest one, 50 to the third one, and none to any other parties, even if their share of the vote were 33%, 32% and 31%, respectively? 😉

Back to reality: If the Tories agreed to proper proportional representation, it’s likely that a coalition of centre-right parties would get a majority in parliament quite often, probably more often than the number of times they can expect to get a workable majority under FPTP.

So it really won’t be that painful, and wouldn’t it be nice never to see a Labour majority in Westminster again?

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