Why have there been calls for electoral reform?

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  • Created by: Sophie
  • Created on: 28-04-13 20:35
  • Increased concern about effect of FPTP on our political system. Many argued it destroys accountability by producing government with such large majorities in parliament that parliament was increasingly unable to provide an effective scrutiny or opposition. Laws were being rubber-stamped in the face of powerful governments driving their Bills through parliament, using the support of loyal party backbenchers. 
  • Growth of third parties from the 1980s highlighted the apparent unfairness of the results. In 1997 for example, Lib Dems achieved 17.2% of tota vote yet less than 9% of seats; in 2001 with 18.3% of the vote, they received only 7.9% if the seats; in 2005, 22% of the vote produced only 9.6% of the seats. 
  • 1997 Labour Manifesto stated "we are committed to a referendum on the voting system for the HoC.", but committment was never kept, despite introduction of other voting systems for various elections. FPTP remained the voting system for Westminster and for local govt, but use of systems like AMS and the list system in other elections sharpened the appetite for reform. Now a referendum has been promised for May 2011 to introduce a new system, but Tories and Labour parties are likely to oppose any change. 
  • Jenkins Report came up with a new voting system called AV+ for Westminster elections (mixture of AV


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