LETTER: The electoral system needs an urgent change

Democracy requires that the will of the people be reflected in the outcome of an election, whether or not a voter backed a winning candidate or party.

That almost 25 per cent of the electorate who voted Green, Lib Dem or UKIP are represented by just ten MPs has worrying implications for the legitimacy of our government. That supporters of the SNP, with less than five per cent of the vote share, can be represented by 56 MPs undermines belief in the fairness of the system.

That the Labour party can win millions of votes in the south of England and that the Conservative party can win millions of votes in the north and for this to go un-recognised by our electoral system is a recipe for disillusion, resentment and disconnect.

Our ‘First Past the Post’ voting system is a disincentive to good local government and political participation, discouraging good candidates from putting themselves up for election, and encouraging parties to field unenthusiastic ‘paper’ candidates in uncompetitive elections.

We therefore – winners as well as losers in the recent elections – call for the urgent change of our electoral system to a proportional one which gives more choice and power to voters.

For further information please contact the cross-party (and non-party) campaign: makevotescountwestsussex@gmail.com

Anthony Tuffin, independent Chair of Make Votes Count in West Sussex

Sarah Sharp, Chichester City Councillor & District Council candidate, Green Party

Clare Apel, Chichester District & City Councillor, Liberal Democrat

Ann Rapnik, West Sussex County Councillor for Bersted, UKIP

Alan Butcher, Parliamentary candidate for Bognor Regis & Littlehampton, Labour

Paul Ingram, Chichester District Council candidate for Petworth, UKIP

Jasper Richmond, Parliamentary candidate for Chichester, Green Party

Jonathan Brown, Chichester District Council candidate for Southbourne, Liberal Democrat