Last week across Kent candidates stood to represent constituencies and to take our political views to Westminster. While 500,000 people voted for winning candidates, our first past the post electoral system has left over 800,000 in Kent with an MP they didn't vote for and who probably doesn't represent their views.
I do not believe this is fair or democratic. The UK is one of the few
countries that continues with an electoral system that worked in distant
past but now fails the majority of constituents.
Today I have asked all former parliamentary candidates across the 17
Kent constituencies to send a joint open letter to Theresa May and Jeremy
Corbyn this week, copied to the press, calling for an urgent change to a
form of proportional representation.
Let's see who signs it!
Dear Theresa May and Jeremy Corbyn,
Here in Kent we have 17 constituencies, one of which has a Labour MP and
16 of which have Conservative MPs. There are 1.3 million people on the
electoral register in Kent but only 503,000 voted for an MP who now
This means that we have over 800,000 people who have an MP that they did
not vote for and who very probably doesn't represent their views. Far
more people have no representation in Kent than are represented - this
is not democracy.
Nationally, the number of votes that each party needs to gain a seat is
completely disproportional. Dividing the number of votes nationally by
the number of MPs elected for a party, the Greens returned 1 MP for
525,000 votes, UKIP returned no MPs despite 594,000 votes, the Lib Dems
had an average of 198,000 votes per MP while Conservatives and Labour
had averages of 43,000 and 49,000 respectively - and these vote shares
were even more disproportional in 2015. This is not democracy.
The vast majority of OECD countries now have proportional systems of
election for national government and of course we have proportional
systems for regional and EU elections - demonstrating that governments
have recognised that these are better than FPTP. Continuing with FPTP
for UK general elections is simply not democratic.
The referendum in 2011 was for the Alternative Vote system. This is a
voting system that is not proportional and therefore not democratic
which is why it was rejected.
The First Past the Post system is a flawed legacy that needs to be
replaced urgently. Our electoral system is broken and a proportional
system of election will help fix it. People need to have MPs who
represent their views.
Please bring a bill to introduce proportional representation before the
next general election so that this country can finally become a