Proportional Representation

Thank you to all those who have contacted me about a PR voting system.

I know this is an issue some people feel strongly about. If you are not a supporter of the majority vote winner in your part of the country, I can fully understand why.

In principal, I would be unafraid if our parliamentary system moved to a different method - one which better reflects proportional representation – do a good job, people vote for you, it is as simple as that. As such, I have always had sympathy with those who desire PR.

However, after the recent election in Austria, where elements of the far-right have gained seats due to a PR system, I wonder whether a similar situation might occur here. The established political tectonic plates have shifted immeasurably since the Brexit vote and although we must support free speech, I would struggle to respect the views expounded by such politicians being replicated in the UK.

Our current system (First Past the Post) is used by half the voters in the world. Indeed, you might remember the 2011 referendum where the electorate voted overwhelmingly to retain FPTP, defeating the more modest AV proposals at the time.

Although imperfect, FPTP allows the party who has won the majority of seats to form a government. It also means there is a clear opposition party who can hold the government of the day to account. I fear that PR would result in a number of splinter groups with very conflicting and possibly disruptive agendas.

I hope this demonstrates my thinking on this issue given the current political climate.