Opinion Former Article

Electoral Reform Society: Brown reignites reform debate

Unfair elections on the agenda for new premiership

Labour Leadership frontrunner Gordon Brown has come out in favour of electoral reform.

The Electoral Reform Society has welcomed Brown's openness on the very real problems of first past the post.

Chief Executive Dr Ken Ritchie said:

"We must congratulate Gordon Brown for his commitment to fair and representative government. We couldn't agree more with his views on the importance of having politicians linked to their electorates: our representatives have to be involved and engaged in their constituencies.

"In the present parliament, barely a third of MPs can claim they were backed at the ballot by a majority of voters. The Member for Kirkcaldy and Cowdenbeath may want to take a tip from closer to home: Scotland has just had a successful local government elections using STV, and electors are now in a position where a great majority now have a councillor of the party of their choice. That's what I call a link."

"We look forward to discussing reform with the new Labour leader after the 24th June."

Notes to Editors:
. A complete transcript of Brown's speech is available here: http://fabians.org.uk/events/hustings-07-leaders/speech
. In the 2005 election 220 MPs won their seats based on a majority of voters. None were elected with a majority of the total electorate.
. Scottish Local Government elections run under the new Single Transferable Vote (STV) system managed to buck the trend last week. The easily comprehensible preference voting system lead to a provisional rate of spoilage of 1.98%, compared to an average of 3.5% in the Scottish Parliament vote which required voters to mark with an 'X'
. More at: http://www.electoral-reform.org.uk/

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