Tuesday, February 06, 2007

The Boundary Commission Report and 18 Doughty Street

"That makes David Cameron's task next time only a little easier. A swing of 1.6% could remove Labour's majority but to win a majority he would need an unlikely 6.9%. This is not quite as unfair as it sounds. Some of the distortion comes from the fact that only 55,640 electors are needed to justify a constituency in Wales, against 69,934 in England (this should be changed). Some is a consequence of low turnout in strong Labour areas, which means the party is able to win its seats with fewer votes."

It sounds like a majority will be a stretch but achievable. However, what I want to know is why exactly what is supposed to be a comprehensive review has left us with such inequity. What will be presented as an inherent flaw in our system is actually a result of the system whose first duty is supposed to be ensuring an equality between voters failing to do so. The inequality between English and Welsh voters, in particular, will further strain English patience with the Union.

This video from 18 Doughty Street gives some suggestion of what might happen with the Conservatives winning the popular vote by 6%. A Labour lead of one MP, the Liberal Democrats the kingmakers. Cameron and Campbell co-operating on some good policy but an inherently weak coalition. Horrifying.

What it doesn't note is that a Brown-Campbell pact on the condition of proportional representation would be far more horrifying than any policy shocks that Cameron-Campbell might produce. Say goodbye to proper accountability and strong government. Say hello to politics in the Italian style.

We need to work out how the Conservatives can get the 8% lead necessary for a decent majority. While the mountain is formidable that kind of result is achievable, particularly if our policy groups give us a real programme for government which the British people might endorse and we can restrain the desire to bicker internally.

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