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The average UK vote is worth 3.33 times mine. Time for PR

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  • The average UK vote is worth 3.33 times mine. Time for PR

My vote is worth less than that of most people, The average UK voter has 3.33 times as much power as I do, according to Voter Power. a website using data from the New Economics Foundation.

In other words, I would have to vote more than three times to have the influence of the elusive average man or woman. To try to do that would be illegal so I will not try.

The disparity of power for voters in Central Suffolk and North Ipswich is because it is a very safe seat (for the Conservatives).

Data like these are used by the central campaign organisations of all the parties to help decide where they will put in the effort to get people to change their vote. Numbers of key voters are hotly disputed but the numbers of people who can change a general election result are often counted in the tens of thousands.

This is because small local swings make huge differences in the first-past-the-post system. If we want to make every vote count more equally we need to move to a system of proportional representation.

The existing system has suited the big parties well (Labour and Conservatives have been against change while the Lib Dems, who are under represented, have wanted it).

But now that we seem to be entering a time of less binary political power the pressure for proportional voting is likely to increase.

The Scottish parliament website says members “are chosen using a system called the Additional Member System (AMS). This system allows people to have a local constituency MSP and also adds other members to make the overall result more proportional. In this way more viewpoints are represented in Parliament.”

Currently the SNP has 64 of the 128 MSPs. In this general election with the first-past-the-post system the prediction they will almost sweep the board is worrying both the Conservatives and Labour.

This might just change English attitudes towards a more proportionate electoral system.

I have complained about the lack of attention from candidates and so has Mark Valladres, another Suffolk blogger, who last week wrote a post: Creeting St Peter: the candidate doesn’t even knock once… 

If he checks out the Voter Power website it will discover his vote, in Bury St Edmunds constituency, is worth more than mine – but not a lot.

The data at the Voter Power  site is also used by Democratic Dashboard, set up by people at the London School of Economics, which has a wealth of other information about the election in individual constituencies.

 

 

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