Location
St Mary's Church
61 St James Street
Brighton
BN2 1PR
Date and time
7:00 PM to 9:00 PM
23/06/2015
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Making Our Votes Count: Reforming the UK election system
 
searchThere has been much discussion about electoral reform following the General Election this May. But what are the alternatives to our current First Past the Post system and how could they be achieved?  What are the pros and cons of models such as Proportional Representation, Single Transferable Vote or Alternative Vote Plus?
Despite the Conservatives gaining 21 English seats in Parliament, their vote share only went up by a mere 1.4 percentage points to 41%. Under our current electoral system, parties like Labour and the Conservatives only need a few tens of thousands of votes for each Parliamentary seat they win, while smaller parties like UKIP and the Greens need a million or more (see graph below). Many find this stranglehold on UK politics grossly unfair and resent a system where they often feel the need to vote tactically for their least worst option.
On the other hand, the electorate are not always content with the compromises likely to be needed in any coalition government – the more likely outcome of any more proportional voting system. The Lib Dems were hammered by their own voters for joining a coalition. And what about the potential problem of ‘extremists’ holding the balance of power? Is it real or overplayed?
 
Speaker Dan Jellinek will talk about reforming our national elections and the House of Lords and how devolution might affect democratic reform.
 
Dan is a journalist, trainer, publisher and author of the book “People Power: A User’s Guide to Democracy in the UK” 
 
The talk will be followed by questions and answers and a general discussion.
The event has been organised by Free University Brighton and Greenspeak UK. The event is free of charge but so that we can anticipate numbers, please book your place using the form below.
 
Graph: Number of votes each political party needed to win a Parliamentary seat in the 2015 General Election. Source: Telegraph 8 May 2015
Party 
Votes per seat 
Conservatives 
34,244 
Labour 
40,290 
SNP 
25,972 
Lib Dem 
301,986 
DUP 
23,032 
Sinn Ffein 
44,058 
Plaid Cymru 
60,564 
SDLP 
33,269 
UUP 
57,467 
Ukip 
3,881,129 
Green 
1,157,613
 

 

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