Closed petition Introduce a form of proportional representation for all UK elections

First Past The Post is the electoral system currently used for elections to the Westminster Parliament, local councils in England and Wales, and constituency seats in devolved administrations. It does not accurately reflect votes cast and needs replacing with a system of proportional representation.

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The government has a large majority in Parliament on a minority of the vote (56% of seats on 43% of votes cast). This is not a mandate for any ruling party, because only voters in marginal seats can influence results. Safe seats usually do not change party, discouraging voter turnout. The government’s forthcoming constitutional commission must review the current voting system in a non-partisan manner. Opinion polls consistently show public support for a system in which seats match votes.

This petition is closed All petitions run for 6 months

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Government responded

This response was given on 24 September 2020

First Past the Post is a robust way of electing MPs, providing a clear and well-understood link between constituents and their representatives, and is more likely to lead to stable Governments.

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The First Past the Post system is a robust and secure way of electing Members of Parliament. It is simple - in each constituency the candidate for whom more people voted than for any alternatives is elected. It provides a clear and well-understood link between constituents and their representatives in Parliament. Proportional voting systems have a tendency to result in coalition or minority governments which can lead to governments being indecisive or unstable. Furthermore, such voting systems can lead to small parties having significant power in coalition formations and therefore exercising power beyond their electoral representation. Parties which have become unpopular with the electorate can also continue to retain a stake in power.

In 2011, more than two thirds of electors voted in favour of retaining the First Past the Post System in the referendum on electoral reform. The Government was elected on a manifesto commitment to continue to support First Past the Post and has no plans to change the voting system away from this system.

Cabinet Office