Kevin Barron on Electoral Reform

The turnout in the Rother Valley constituency was the highest of all the Rotherham seats (over 64%). Although I received just over 40% of the votes cast, I only received 2,700 less votes than in the previous general election. I am in favour of the alternative vote system, in which voters rank their candidates in order of preference, ensuring that a winning candidate has to get more than 50% of the votes cast in a single constituency

As I said in my victory speech at last week’s count, a measure of any government is how that government affects the lives of people in constituencies such as ours. The new coalition government should and will be judged on that basis. From Kevin Barron’s website.

In a move that is to be applauded, Kevin Barron has begun to use his website to express his views on political issues. This is excellent news – we now know that he supports some level of voting reform, although sadly the referendum bit of this bit of the 1997 Labour Party manifesto was never delivered:

We are committed to a referendum on the voting system for the House of Commons. An independent commission on voting systems will be appointed early to recommend a proportional alternative to the first-past-the-post system.

The report was completed though (The Jenkins Report) and can be downloaded here. The report has this to say about the alternative vote system:

“it is also the only option the Commons would probably back, since MPs are hardly likely to vote themselves out of their own seats, …

However AV does little to counteract geographical distribution of electoral support and will not assist parties such as the Liberal Democrats whose support is not concentrated in particular locations”

Which is not the most ringing endorsement. To me this reads: ‘it won’t really change the outcome of any seats, and it won’t address the major problem with the current system which is that parties with an even spread of votes geographically are under-represented nationally.’

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4 responses to “Kevin Barron on Electoral Reform

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  3. In a move that is to be applauded, Kevin Barron has begun to use his website …
    Yes, but, have you noticed that the “Latest News” section is consistently out-of-date?

    Google’s cache – dated 17May – shows the most recent entry as Happy Easter , and when, on the 18May, the section was updated, it brought us news up to the 13May.

    Perhaps the procedure used for updating the site, involves sending letters, 2nd class*, by surface mail.

    * well he is paying for all this himself.

  4. I have noticed it is out of date, but these things are relative, and we must celebrate achievement.

    At least there is now a site to show for all the money that has been spent, and it’s more up-to-date than it ever has been (but then we have just has an election) without being actually up-to-date in the commonly understood sense.

    Room for improvement.

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