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‘Combined Representation’ – Electoral Reform by Peter Scott

Nearly four million people voted for UKIP in the 2015 General Election, yet for all that party work and public support, we got only one MP.

If the election had been run on the lines of ‘Combined Representation’, outlined below, 83 UKIP MPs would have been returned at Westminster – a powerful voice. ‘First-past-the-post’ (FPTP) cries out for radical change in the name of ‘democracy’ but nothing will happen without your ongoing active involvement to drive it.

Combined Representation (CR) amalgamates FPTP and proportional representation (PR). It recognises FPTP candidates as MPs as now and then utilises all other votes cast for the unsuccessful candidates to elect an equal number of MPs by PR. All PR MPs would be elected on a pro-rata basis from the highest scoring unsuccessful candidates in each party.

To maintain a sane number of MPs in Parliament, constituency sizes would be doubled and have an average of two MPs per constituency. Voting procedures remain unchanged. If CR had been used in 2015 the result would have been:


1 Candidates with most votes in each constituency are elected FPTP MPs.

2 Votes used to elect FPTP MPs are subtracted from the total votes cast, the residual votes being used to elect the equal number of PR MPs.

Process of vote allocation to elect PR MPs

1 Pre-election reference numbers are given to the alphabetically ordered constituencies and to all political parties.

2 When all results are in, the total valid votes cast in the election are ascertained.

3 The total number of valid votes cast is reduced by those used to elect the FPTP MPs.

4 The remaining valid votes are divided by the number of constituencies to calculate the threshold votes required to enable a single PR MP.

5 The remaining valid votes are reduced by the number of votes of all parties failing to poll the single PR MP threshold and those parties are removed from the election process.

6 The residual votes being eligible for PR are divided by the number of constituencies giving the number of votes required to elect each PR MP.

Selection of PR MPs

1 The PR eligible votes are totalled for each party

2 Total PR eligible votes for each party are divided by the number of votes required to elect each PR MP, indicating the quota of PR MPs won by each party, (ref additional notes below)

3 The votes of all PR eligible candidates, tagged with their constituency reference numbers and their party references, are arranged by party in descending order of votes cast, by computer.

4 Always using the highest vote available, PR MPs are selected strictly to their own constituencies until each party’s quota is filled.

5 A maximum of two PR MPs are elected to any one constituency maintaining both representational balance and competition within the constituencies.

6 On rare occasions the highest available vote candidate appears as a third PR MP and is passed over, the selection passing to the next highest-scoring candidate with a constituency place available.

Additional note:

Fixing the party share of seats won by the PR element.

Each party’s quota of PR MPs is decided by:

  • Dividing the party’s PR eligible votes by the number of votes required for each PR MO, (two decimal places)
  • The resulting whole numbers of PR MPs shown for each party are allotted
  • The extra allotment required to make up the total of PR MPs is made to those parties with the highest decimal place scores.

Editor ~ ‘UKIP the future’ Submitted by Graham Harper – UKIP Patron per pro Peter Scott, January

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24 Comments on ‘Combined Representation’ – Electoral Reform by Peter Scott

  1. There’s a lot here.
    1. Assuming that a parliament is good. Then to get people in it and assuming you do not want Cronys ( on a list )as appears on most systems, or people who do not know what your people want or you feel, for whatever reason, Then a representative is what you have to have. Isn’t it?
    2. I like a means of getting ideas from to grassroots to leadership ( Of whatever kind ) and back swiftly. With eMail that’s exactly what you can have. Isn’t it? But it ought not to be impolite, or unregulated. I always found unions were good at this. But I think a Communications Rep on every branch could do this. Maybe? To be considered by a Policy Advisory Committee.

  2. PR is a simple and fair system of voting most people can understand.
    Votes mean seats.
    In 2015 we would have taken 83 seats using this system.
    It is becoming increasingly universal.
    We elect MEPs under the system.
    Our three regional ‘parliaments’ are elected on a version of it.
    It eliminates the new ‘rottenboroughs’ aka safe seats.
    And it eliminates the power of ‘marginals’ and as by next election many of these marginals will be increasingly occupied by islam – we need PR sooner rather than later.
    It also eliminates the unfairness in constituency sizes which means that some votes carry more representation than others.
    It is one issue that UKIP should be fighting for very strongly and should be pushing into the public domain and debate.
    Why it hasn”t been more prominant in our campaigns for years I cannot quite understand.

    • Yes, but instead of rotten ( SAFE ) seats,you get rotten ( Crony ) lists, who have almost zero relationship with constituents. No?

  3. The FPTP system does
    work occasionally and saw the election of early Labour MP s, Martin Bell, and a few after the war.There was one in our constituancy I think was called Blackburn.We wanted him and we got him.
    Then lost him because of the labour unions at Longbridge ( serve em right )
    ” Never buy a Monday, Thursday or Friday car “

  4. Oh dear.

    It’s like Life of Brian.
    The peoples revolutionary party of Judea. Desperately bending backwards to get votes.

    Ours of FPTP is a REPRESESENTATIVE system. Unequivocaly (spelling ) the best but corrupted by the use of Parties ( In themselves a good answer to factionalism ) But again corrupted by those in the heirarchy.

    These problems are the same in all PARTIES systems, and human nature unless stamped on .

  5. UKIP has a policy forum specifically to develop our policy in this area and we have a team recruited from members to do just that. The only way to get your ideas considered is to use the SAGE process initiated by Henry Bolton. If we can progress electoral reform cooperatively then that would be ideal but organisations like MVM and ERS as well as other parties aren’t that keen to shift away from their preferred ideologies. As it happens MVM have no strategy other than making noise, to progress voting reform. I know I’ve asked more than once.
    I have also looked at Peter’s system and spoken with him about it. The best way to determine which system the UK should use is to find out first what people might be prepared to vote for.
    Of course, it goes without saying that, if Henry Bolton goes so will any idea of member involvement in policy. We do have a mechanism to get your ideas discussed but that won’t survive a change of leader as the hierarchy aren’t interested in the members views. They never have been so what’s going to change?

    • WHY does member involvement with policy automatically leave with Henry? At my last NEC meeting in 2016, we agreed a series of meetings where ANY member could turn up and propose a policy to the relevant spokesperson. That wouldn’t need Henry to resume…

      • Rubbish, have you ever tried it? They are simply not interested. Have any of your agreed meetings ever taken place?
        A formal structure is necessary and a process that ensures policy ideas are properly considered and sound reasons given as to why they aren’t accepted, if that were to be the case. Too often our policy spokespeople do nothing, have no ideas and simply repeat old stuff again and again.

    • Troubled Matravers // February 5, 2018 at 10:08 pm // Reply

      “The only way to get your ideas considered is to use the SAGE process initiated by Henry Bolton”

      Henry’s sage? Mmmmm

  6. The problem we have today is that most of the MSM push one agenda and the discussion, what little we have, is between the Left and the Far Left, between the Collectivist view and the Globalists 🙂 , with the futile competition between the multitude of victimhood tribes created by Feminism, Transgenderism, Racism and every other ism, pushing out the knowledge that we have accumulated, especially over the last few thousand years.
    Paul Mason, a Marxist music teacher, was appointed by the BBC to pontificate about Business and Finance on one of its supposedly most prestigious current affairs programmes!

    No wonder the BBC still don’t understand Brexit, Trump or that Remainers MPs quite like their role being taken over by Brussels, while still being rewarded for their nonexistent responsibilities.

    Fortunately, more and more people are turning to non-MSM news outlets, and the Establishment are losing their ‘well managed’ channels, that kept everyone on message, their message.

    In the US, the Left are demanding changes in how politicians are elected, like doing away with the electoral collage for presidential elections, so that they never again have to suffer the humiliation of having a ‘President Trump’ in the White House.

    I was an OK system for electing Obama, but not for Trump! 🙂

    I see Parliamentary electoral reform in similar light and a distraction when reform can only implemented by a FPTP Government and Brexit Success is the key to ANY change at all.

    • Fantastic Analysis, Grimsby, you`ve made a lot of sense for me of the sudden tangle of “isms” that have grown up mainly through the growth of mass access to the modern media which have befogged real perception of age old political and personal allegiances.
      We`ve had the principle of first past the post for ages, perhaps centuries, sometimes it has served us well and sometimes not. I remember Gilbert and Sullivan having their moan about some of the practices back in the late 19th Century – “Parliamentary Trains” and all that i.e. the ganging up of parliamentary factions completely ignoring the electorate who put them in.
      Why do we every now and then return to normality and the whole rotten system seems to work once more?
      Oh yes we have a war, concentrates minds wonderfully, suddenly the factions and electorate are compelled to realise they have to work for the common good.
      It doesn`t need to be a world war – just look at the renewed spirit that invaded this nation after the Falklands war.
      Remoaning is oh so xenophonic, I class it as the worst “ism” pf the lot.
      So thanks Grimsby.

  7. The bottom line is that because this as you set out it would break the current two-party (Conservative & Labour) socialist establishment it has as much chance of happening as turkeys voting for Christmas. Thus in reality we have to win under the current system and then change it.

  8. Getting the existing Duopoly of Lab and Con to vote for PR ( or a Referendum on it ) is already a HUGE mountain to climb.

    It will need massive campaigns and pressure from around the political spectrum to have even a small chance of this ever happening.

    By advocating a completely new ( whatever purists might say about its objective merits ) system, rather than one with which electors are already familiar in a different context, you are reducing the chances of a change to PR even more.

    What would be wrong with using for Westminster ( and ~v v important – local elections ) the system we already HAVE for Euro elections ?
    People are already familiar with it.
    It is fair.
    It would give you a number of MPs from within definable Regions with which people can identify.

    An important modification to it which I would advocate would be that instead of the Parties presenting their Lists in the preferential order chosen by the Party machine, they would have to present them in alphabetical order ~and it would be up to the electors ( if they wished ~it would not be obligatory ) to select their preferred candidate from within the Party LIST.
    THUS, eg Conservative electors could choose between Anna Soubry types and Michael Gove / Jacob Rees~Mogg types.
    Lab inclined voters could choose between Frank Field / Kate Hoey types, and Keir Starmer / David Miliband types.
    I believe such a system would actually be a fairly easy sell to the general public ~because it really would represent the possibility of a ‘taking back control’ of a Parliament which has detached itself further and further from the concerns of the general public.

  9. We do have to be very careful about PR and be aware that it would also increase the number of MPs from other smaller parties.Had strict PR been in place at the last election a combination of Lib,Lab and Green MPs would have almost certainly scuppered Brexit.

    • Not so.
      When there is a fair votes system in which every vote counts people vote differently.

      If there is a majority in the country for an important political decision ( Brexit for example, or much longer sentences for violent criminals, to take another ) then candidates within parties who also advocate those outcomes are more likely to receive electoral support [ pl. see the slight tweak to the existing PR system we have for the Euros which I recommend in my first post on this thread ].

      I believe it is talking to themselves around Islington and Camden dinner tables party machines which have given us the current raft of unrepresentative MPs. I doubt v. v. much whether people like Anna Soubry or Keir Starmer would get into Parliament if the general electorate had a say in where they figured on their Party’s Lists.
      I would be quite relaxed about a number of smaller Parties being represented in Parliament.
      It is important for people to believe that their votes COUNT.
      At the moment people realize that mostly their votes don’t count in the current Rotten Borough system.

    • It’s hard to be certain, because when the rules change people’s voting behaviour changes as well.

  10. I like this. But don’t envy anyone trying to explain how it works to voters.

    Perhaps we could hire John Cleese? ?

  11. The Electoral Reform Society have been campaigning on PR for years. They recently raised a petition to have this debated in Parliament.

    • Sadly the ERS have not got very far in their well over a century’s existence.
      By all means support them, but especially join and support MAKE VOTES MATTER
      a new organization which is making waves more vigorously.
      WELL worth organizing MVM meetings locally, involving local press and TV / radio.

    • Petition led debates are pointless. New UKIP policy in this area is looking at forcing debates to take place in parliament and not the Westminster hall and making the votes binding. Watch this space.

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