I understand that next Monday, 20 September, the House of Commons will debate a motion which could lead to an amendment to the Elections Bill and change the voting system for Police and Crime Commissioners and the metro-mayors to First Past the Post instead of the present Supplementary Vote system.
While SV may be less effective in representing constituents’ views than other forms of PR, it is at least more representative than FPTP.
Changing to FPTP would be a move in the wrong direction.
I was astonished to read a claim in a Government press release on 15 September First Past the Post to be introduced for all local mayoral and police and crime commissioner elections – GOV.UK (www.gov.uk) that “First Past the Post is the world’s most widely used electoral system.”
Wikipedia may not always be reliable but it says: “FPTP is used as the primary form of allocating seats for legislative elections in about a third of the world’s countries, mostly in the English-speaking world.”
Is the Cabinet Office claim based on the fact that some PR systems use a combination of FPTP alongside party lists? If so, it’s a highly misleading statement.
The press release also criticised that “In this May’s London Mayoral elections, the Supplementary Vote system saw hundreds of thousands void, wasted or blank votes cast, reflecting voter confusion and the complex system. ” I don’t know how they calculated that. Perhaps it depends on a definition of “waste”. With FPTP, where a candidate is often elected with only 30-40% of the vote, wouldn’t it be fair to say that 60-70% of the votes are wasted because they don’t count for anything?
I urge you to vote against the motion.