Voting System Reform

The Time Party will campaign for voting system reform so that the people of the UK can decide whether to retain the existing First-Past-the-Post arrangement or to opt for a change to a proportional voting system which better reflects the electorate’s political affiliations.

In order to ensure precise proportionality of votes cast per party, TIME proposes that the PR system selected includes a 5% qualification threshold. This would guarantee that parties met this threshold before gaining representation at Westminster, unless that party has won a specific constituency seat or seats.

TIME proposes that there should be a series of UK-wide referendums held to decide once-and-for-all whether or not to adopt a proportional representation system for UK parliamentary elections. These referendums would be formed as follows:

Referendum 1.

1)      Retain First-Past-the-Post (FPTP)

2)      Change to a type of Proportional Representation (PR).        

Referendum 2.

1)     Mixed Member Proportional (MMP)

2)     Single Transferable Vote (STV)

In the event that a change to the electoral system has been selected in Referendum 1, a further third referendum would be held following four UK general elections conducted under the newly selected PR system, chosen in Referendum 2 (X).

This third referendum would consist of two ballot questions, i and ii, as follows:

Referendum 3.

i) Do you want to retain (X) or change to another electoral system?

1)      Retain (X) voting system

2)      Change to an alternative system

ii) If the UK votes to change electoral system, which do you select?

1)      First-Past-the-Post

2)      The previously unselected PR system (MMP or STV)

Explanation of voting systems

Mixed Member Proportional (MMP): This is known as the Additional Member System when in use in Scotland and Wales. It is the system used in Germany and New Zealand. In this system roughly half of the seats are elected by FPTP and the remaining seats are filled from party lists to top-up and ensure a proportional overall result.

Single Transferable Vote (STV): A proportional system used in Northern Ireland, the Republic of Ireland, Malta and for the Australian Senate. This is a system in which a country is divided into multimember constituencies and the voters rank candidates in declining order of preference.