Fair Votes

Following the Home Secretary’s announcement to extend the first past the post voting system to combined authority mayoral and police and crime commissioner elections in England, Transforming Yorkshire reaffirms its commitment to a fair voting system.

The current first past the post system used in most UK elections can often result in a situation where the composition of parliament and councils does not reflect the votes cast by the electorate. There are issues with this system as smaller parties find it difficult to win sufficient votes in single constituencies to gain reasonable, or in some cases, any representation; even though they may have a considerable proportion of the votes at a national or regional level. This can lead to large blocks of the country apparently only ever voting for one party which results in political polarization, disinterest in the political system and even minority governments.

We believe that the political system in the UK is currently broken and that the electoral system has contributed to this by creating a polarized political situation where a duopoly of the two major parties is in control. Neither party displays competence, leadership or capability but challenger parties are precluded from playing a proper role as it is impossible for them to achieve meaningful representation.

We further believe that any electoral system changes should also address the under representation of independents throughout our elected institutions. Independents should be encouraged to take part in elections and should not be discouraged by systems and obstacles designed to favour the party system and major players.

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