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UK election 2024 first-past-the-post

In the 2024 UK election, 33.7% of the vote for the Labour Party gave them 63.2% of seats and 100% of the power.

Looking at UK election results going back to 1918, the BBC concluded, “Labour’s result in 2024 – with the gap between the share of votes won and the share of seats won of around 30 percentage points – is the most disproportionate on record.”

Reform voters cast 14.3% of the votes but the party got only .06% of the seats (5 seats).

As newly elected Reform MP Richard Tice commented, “Our broken voting system robbed too many voters of their voice… The Labour Party has received roughly two and a half times as many votes as Reform, and won 50 times the number of MPs.”

The Green Party got 6.8% of the vote and but only .06% of the seats.

Fifty-eight percent of UK voters cast ballots that elected no representation. With first-past-the-post, the majority of UK voters are shut out of having any representation, or any say over the policies that affect their lives.

After 14 years of Conservative government, despite this being a high stakes, “change” election, voter turnout plummeted to 59.9%.

The UK is a multi-party system, but first-past-the-post has ensured that the two biggest parties, the Conservatives and Labour, enjoy a near-monopoly on power.

In this election, their combined share of the vote hit the lowest point since 1945. Four parties got over 10% of the vote and five parties got over 5%.

As the UK’s Electoral Reform Society said, “It is clear that the British public is already voting as if we have a proportional system.”

If the UK had proportional representation, almost every voter would be fairly represented in Parliament. A minority government or a coalition would have been the outcome (with the centre-left and left commanding the majority of seats).

Parties would have to work together, so that every policy has real majority support.

In 2022, the Labour Party membership voted overwhelmingly to back proportional representation and the biggest union supporting Labour voted to back proportional representation.

Despite this, Labour Party leader Keir Starmer remains a staunch defender of first-past-the-post.

The UK, Canada and the US are the only three countries in the OECD still stuck with first-past-the-post. Over 80% of OECD countries use proportional representation.

As the democratic crisis deepens, the pressure to adopt a fair and proportional voting system will only keep growing.


More details and stats on the UK’s skewed election results:

UK Electoral Reform Society: (Note: Their simulation of proportional representation shows the Additional Member System, which we usually call Mixed Member Proportional. They will be producing a simulation with Single Transferable Vote (proportional ranked choice voting) in the next few weeks).

Make Votes Matter: The UK’s national movement for proportional representation.

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