This time of year, we take a look back on our most popular articles of the year. A lot has happened:
But what were you, our dear reader, most interested in this year? Here’s our top 5 countdown…
In fifth place, we see the troubling prediction made early this year by Electoral Calculus which projected a ‘wrong winner’ election. At the time of writing, it found that in a fresh election, the Conservatives could win 40.5% of the vote and 297 seats, whereas Labour could win 279 seats on 40.7% of the vote. Yet more evidence on the need for reform of Westminster’s outdated and broken voting system.
In fourth place, we shared our findings from the voter ID trials of the local elections earlier this year, which saw 350 people being denied their vote. We highlighted that in the face of new threats to our democracy – such as the shocking state of the unregulated ‘wild west’ of online campaigning – imposing voter ID is like rearranging the deckchairs of our democracy while we head towards an iceberg. Sign our petition opposing this barrier to democracy.
In third place was our discussion on boundaries, in response to the Boundary Commissions announcing their plans in September. We note that due to the nature of First Past the Post, the efforts to equalise constituency sizes were a red herring. The fact that the new boundaries will change election results isn’t a sign that it has been gerrymandered – it’s a sign that Westminster’s unfair system is working just as expected.
In second place, we responded to the news of the PM’s plans to reduce the number of MPs. This cut would see the numbers of MPs fall from 650 to 600. The problem is, unless there is a reduction in government ministers, a cut risks having fewer backbench MPs who can scrutinise the government – causing problems for accountability, as there is less capacity to scrutinise legislation.
In first place was the troubling news that the Prime Minister was attempting to bury the news that she was appointing 13 new Lords – while all eyes appeared focused on the Royal Wedding in May. With the House of Lords already being the second largest legislative chamber in the world – second only to China’s National People’s Congress – these appointments just further highlighted how the size of the House is spiralling out of control.
We’d like to thank all our supporters for their help in the last year and wish you a very Merry Christmas.
2019 is going to be another busy year. If you would like to help support the research that goes into articles like the above, you can get involved and join us as a member or become a Lakeman Donor.
Support the Lakeman Research Fellow