What issue do the Green Party, Liberal Democrats, Plaid Cymru, the SNP and UKIP all agree on? Today I found out. Braving the weather, I joined Natalie Bennett, Nigel Farage, Leanne Wood, a host of top level politicians from parties across the political spectrum and the Electoral Reform Society for an exciting morning stood outside the gates of Downing Street.
Ok, so getting politicians to pose for photos in the rain wasn’t that exciting in itself, but the leaders of five political parties coming together to add their names to almost half a million people calling for a fairer voting system certainly was. This was a show of unity from right across the political spectrum, a real consensus on the need to reform a voting system that is broken beyond repair. 2015 has delivered the most disproportionate general election result in UK political history:
- The Conservatives won a majority with 51% of the seats with 37% of the vote.
- Together Ukip and the Greens got five million votes but just one seat each.
- The SNP won 95% of the seats in Scotland with just half of the votes.
Those results speak for themselves. An outdated two-party voting system just doesn't cut it in a multi-party UK. Millions of voters have effectively been disenfranchised. It’s not just parties who have lost out under our unfair system, but parties who have benefited from it as well. With this cross-party support, as well as the signatures of nearly half a million voters, the call for voting reform has never been louder.
As my colleague, Alex Runswick, the Director of Unlock Democracy, put it, “When half a million people and the leaders of five political parties are simultaneously calling for a fairer voting system, it’s time to sit up and take notice”.