Voters switched party allegiances at unprecedented rates in the general election as they tried to game the failing electoral system, according to voting reform campaigners. Elections are now more like lottery than a real choice with 22 million votes cast in June having no impact on the result, the Electoral Reform Society (ERS) found. It branded the June vote the “hold your nose” election after an estimated 6.5 million people made tactical decisions and said the Conservatives could have won a majority if just 0.0016 per cent of voters had chosen differently. The first-past-the-post system is exaggerating divisions because of the huge discrepancy in the number of votes cast in an area for a party and the number of seats it wins and a new system must now be introduced, the ERS said.
Labour won 29% of votes cast in the South East but got just 10% of seats, while Tories won 34% of the North East but returned just 9 per cent of seats, according to its research.
ERS chief executive Darren Hughes said: “For the third time in a row, Westminster’s voting system has failed to do what it says on the tin – produce a strong and stable government.