We can already see PR working well in practice

Friday, 10th June


‘There really is no excuse not to embrace a fairer voting system’

• MARTIN Plaut complains that proportional representation is problematic (Letters, June 3), but his case against PR and in favour of our archaic FPTP, first-past-the-post, system relies, as ever, on partial and selective arguments.

There really is no excuse not to embrace a fairer voting system when the facts are examined. And we don’t have to look for far-flung examples of how PR could work. We already have many examples of it working reliably and consistently here in the United Kingdom.

Northern Ireland and Scotland elect their councillors by STV, single transferable vote. Voters get to list their candidates in order of preference.

As a voting system it means you still have local councillors but no councillor can be complacent about living in a safe seat. It’s also a voting system that doesn’t reward extremity.

Parties of the far right do not prosper under STV, since a strong majority of voters will put such parties at the bottom of their list. On the other hand, the British National Party managed to elect 14 councillors in London under FPTP in 2006.

The Welsh Senedd have recently opened the door to STV being rolled out to their local councils. England will soon become the only place in the country without any form of STV at local elections. This only consigns England to years more Conservative rule.

Under STV progressive voters could confidently rank their favourite parties, elect councillors who represent their area and actually reflect their views, and see Conservative-run councils kicked out of power. What’s not to like?

Green Party, Highbury ward
& London Assembly member

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