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The latest news and commentary from the Electoral Reform Society.

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What does the Electoral Commission do?

The Electoral Commission is an independent body established in 2001. Its mandate is limited by what is set out in the Political Parties, Elections and Referendums Act (PPERA) 2000 and subsequent amendments. The Electoral Commission...

Posted 09 Dec 2019

The Electoral Commission is not an all-encompassing democracy watchdog

What is proportional representation?

Parties from across the political spectrum are lining up against our voting system and calling for proportional representation, but what does that term mean? There are lots of different ways to decide who gets to...

Posted 06 Dec 2019

With PR, the number of MPs in parliament are ‘in proportion’ to the votes cast

How do you register to vote and when do you have to do it by?

Whilst registration statistics have gone dramatically up since the date for the next general election became official, arguably the level of first-time registration may be being overstated. The statistics we are given tell us the...

Posted 13 Nov 2019

To vote you must be registered by the 26th of November

What is tactical voting and why is it bad for democracy?

In a Westminster election, tactical voting takes place when a voter chooses a candidate whom they wouldn’t normally support, in order to prevent another candidate from winning. For example, if you want to vote for...

Posted 12 Nov 2019

Voters shouldn’t have to change their behaviour to work around first past the post’s failings

What is a hung parliament?

Across the country, a total of 650 Members of Parliament are elected to the Commons, with one per constituency. Under Westminster’s first past the post electoral system each MP doesn’t need to be supported by...

Posted 06 Nov 2019

Hung parliaments aren't the problem Westminsters broken system is

Where is proportional representation used in the UK?

Westminster’s voting system is well and truly broken. The system with which we elect our MPs is struggling to produce fair and representative results. The 2017 General Election showed that, for the third time in a...

Posted 05 Nov 2019

Outside of Westminster, most ways of electing parliaments and assemblies don’t involve wasting so many votes.

How do elections work in Japan?

For the next six weeks the eyes of the world will be fixed on Japan. Ok, probably not all the eyes just the ones that enjoy watching rugby. This week marks the beginning of the...

Posted 19 Sep 2019

In Japan’s last election, Abe's ruling coalition won a two-thirds majority on less than half the vote

Is there proportional representation in Scotland?

For most of the 20th century, every election in Scotland was conducted under the First Past the Post system, from elections of MPs to local councillors. Much like in the rest of the UK, this...

Posted 05 Sep 2019

Compared to Westminster, the Scottish Parliament is very proportional