The election result if we’d had STV
THE Tory domination of the East of England would not have happened if the Liberal Democrats’ preferred method of proportional representation had been in use at last week’s General Election.
The Conservatives have 50 seats across the East of England, the Liberal Democrats four and Labour two - which nowhere compares with how people voted at the election.
There are no Labour MPs in Suffolk, Essex, Norfolk, Cambridgeshire and Hertfordshire with only the two Luton constituencies in Bedfordshire electing Labour.
The Lib Dems want the single transferable vote system (STV) of electing MPs introduced in large multi-member constituencies, in which preferences are expressed and distributed among the parties.
There is to be a referendum on the alternative vote which is not really proportional but keeps the link between MPs and individual constituencies - preferences are distributed until a winner with 50% plus one emerges.
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The Electoral Reform Society has produced an STV model for the East of England, which indicates how many MPs in the large multi-member seats would have been elected.
For this exercise, Essex has been divided into five AV constituencies. Basildon & Thurrock would have elected two Labour and one Tory instead of the three Tories last week.
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Essex Mid (Braintree, Chelmsford, Maldon and Witham) two Tory, one Labour and one Lib Dem instead of the four Tories, North East Essex (Clacton, Colchester and Harwich & Essex North) would have had one Tory, one Labour and one Lib Dem instead of the two Tories and one Lib Dem, Essex West (Brentwood & Ongar, Epping Forest, Harlow, and Saffron Walden) would have had two Tory, one Labour, and one Lib Dem instead of four Tories, and Southend (Castle Point, Rayleigh & Wickford, Rochford & South End East, and Southend West).
Which means that instead of 17 Tory and one Lib Dem MPs elected in Essex as happened last week, AV would have produced eight Tory MPs, six Labour, and four Lib Dems.
The Electoral Reform Society assumes Suffolk would be divided into two multi member constituencies . Suffolk East (Ipswich, Suffolk Central & Ipswich North), Suffolk Coastal and Waveney would have elected two Tories, one Labour and one Lib Dem MP instead of the four Tories who won, while Suffolk West (Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk South and Suffolk West) would have produced one MP from each party instead of three Tories.
Instead of having seven Tories MPs, the county under STV would have returned three Tories, two Labour and two Lib Dems.
In both counties, minor parties which support PR such as UKIP, the Greens and the BNP, still would not see any of its candidates elected. While Tories would lose out in the East, they would gains seats in Scotland, Wales and North East England under STV.