Electoral reform cut from Queen’s Speech

By politics.co.uk staff

A bill to introduce reform of the electoral system will not be included in this month’s Queen’s speech, according to media reports.

The decision, reported by the Guardian today, will be a huge blow to electoral reform campaigners, who hoped a referendum on a new voting system could take place sooner rather than later.

Tony Blair promised a referendum on the electoral system when he came to power, but it never materialised. Gordon Brown is a relatively new convert to the idea, having suggested it in the wake of the expenses scandal.

As the current first-past-the-post (FPTP) favours a legislature like that of the UK, with two powerful parties alternating in office, only the Liberal Democrats have been consistent in their support for reform.

Campaigners eager for a vote on reform believed that progress was being made when culture secretary Ben Bradshaw said that “it would be a missed opportunity not to have a referendum on election day” just over a week ago.

This decision comes as a blow to the Electoral Reform Society which recommends the single transferable vote (STV) for public elections. STV uses preferential voting; as in FPTP, each voter gets one vote. However, if the favoured candidate has no chance of being elected, the vote can be transferred