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UK election abandoned, the people ignored

Monday 10 May 2010 | Written by Richard Brunton | Politics | Comments (6)

The UK election has been held, the results gathered rather messily, and whatever your political beliefs or your preferred voting system, the election has been held and the results are in.

However what we are seeing in these past few days is something that really concerns me, something that not many other people seem concerned about.

The fact that the election is over and the political parties are deciding which of them will take the position to lead the UK government, and even who could be seated in Number 10 Downing Street as our new Prime Minister.

Let me get some facts clear here.

First up, the meaning of the word majority:

Noun: The greater number, the number by which the votes cast for one party or candidate exceed those for the next.

Got that? Here are the individual votes cast for the top three parties in the 2010 UK election:

Conservative - 10,706,647
Labour - 8,604,358
Liberal Democrat - 6,827,938

Got that? Votes wise Conservative are ahead of Labour by 2,102,289 votes and Liberal Democrat by 3,878,709. That means that, by over 2 million votes from 2 million individual people of the UK, Conservatives are the party that have been chosen by the people to govern.

To clear a couple of things up before I proceed, there is no option on the voting slip for “hung parliament” or “teach you all a lesson”, so for all the politicians and media out there, no one voted for that, these votes were for specific parties.

If we were to vote that way then the option is to vote for a clear minority party or to spoil your ballot paper.

The votes above are for specific parties to govern the UK.

So if the Liberal Democrats make a deal with Labour, they are both going against the majority of the people of the UK who voted in the election, they are choosing to elect themselves over the party that the majority of the UK people voted for.

A further point, now brought forward by the resigning of Gordon Brown today, is that if the Liberal Democrats do make a deal with Labour, the United Kingdom will once again have a Prime Minister in power that no one elected.

We’re in the position of having the political parties bartering amongst themselves for what they want in the next four years in politics and deciding between themselves who will govern the UK, and that might not be who the majority of the UK people who voted chose.

Comments

Paul Webster
10-05-2010
07:19

While people mike like to vote for a party - strictly speaking they are voting for a person - to represent them locally.
A national election but local selection makes it difficult to then project what the total number of votes cast really means.

Richard Brunton
10-05-2010
08:47

Hi Paul. While you can't say why people voted, whether they voted for their local candidate or for the national party, I do agree that the current voting system does not allow someone to vote for their local MP and then for the party to represent them in government.

I can say I voted for the party to be in government, not for my local MP, and the fact remains, this is our voting system for this election and it's being totally bypassed and ignored by behind the scenes dealing between parties.

Steven Orrell
10-05-2010
10:37

I'm not quite sure that the people are being ignored. Although I agree that the Conservatives have the majority - or what is considered a majority in a FPTP system - the majority of people don't want a Conservative government. Only 36% of people want a conservative government.

I'd wager that the majority of people given a choice of either

a. Tory Government
b, Tory/Lib Dem Government
c. Labour/Lib Dem Government

that the majority would go with choice C.

Richard Brunton
11-05-2010
09:11

Steven, the majority of people who voted do want a Conservative government, the numbers are above. The rest didn't vote and therefore don't count.

Wager away, but there is no option to vote that way, and the majority of people voted for Conservative.

Steven Orrell
11-05-2010
09:53

Still can't agree with your version of a majority - although I do admit it depends what angle you come from. Terminology wise, we say majority instead of plurality, when certainly the conservatives didn't gain an overall majority

Saying that, I do agree that it would have been a sham had the Lib Dems and Labour managed to form a government.

Richard Brunton
11-05-2010
11:02

I can't see how you can disagree, the facts are above. More people voted Conservative than they did Labour.

As for "version of majority", the English meaning is there and the number of votes cast shows the party with the majority, it's not a "version", it's hard fact!

I am really surprised about today's turn of events though. Still it means the country can start moving forward, and maybe next time the argument about who had the most people vote for them can be slightly different!


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