Friday, May 7, 2010

A thought based on yesterday's election

I has done some little bit of maths.

I know that a lot of people consider the voting system used in this country for purposes of elections, known by many as the 'first past the post' system, to be unfair. Using data from the BBC's election website I compared the number of seats won by the Conservative, Labour and Liberal Democrat parties in last night's election and the number of actual votes counted for each of these parties country-wide.

I even made a bar chart:

Now, I have to make it clear that this is a really, really basic analysis*, but it should hopefully provide food for thought.

What the charts show is this:
  • Around 36% of British voters put their cross next to the name of a Conservative candidate. Compare this with their 47% share of constituency seats.
  • A similar effect can be seen with the Labour party: 40% of the seats have been gained with only 19% of the votes.
  • The most striking difference is seen with the Liberal Democrats: Despite receiving 23% of the votes of British people, they end up with around 9% of the constituency seats.
This leaves me wondering whether the current system results in an adequate representation of what the electorate actually wants.

Just sayin', y'know. Feel free to comment.

* It barely deserves the label