A blog by Luke Akehurst about politics, elections, and the Labour Party - With subtitles for the Hard of Left. Just for the record: all the views expressed here are entirely personal and do not necessarily represent the positions of any organisations I am a member of.

Monday, January 15, 2007

Don't bet your house on it

Usually www.politicalbetting.com is very insightful.

Today, however, the site owner Mike Smithson's Lib Dem background has meant he has rather misread the nuances of internal Labour Party politics.

He thinks that Gordon Brown might be planning to ditch the First-Past-the-Post election system.

I really doubt it - the backbench support for Brown in the PLP includes the people who were most active in the First Past the Post campaign when this was last a hot issue in the party.

I can't see Brown risking alienating some of his most partisan supporters and causing a huge internal fight in the Labour Party over this one - although as an electoral reform supporter I personally would like to see this kind of change.


Anonymous Matt said...


You say you're in favour of 'electoral reform'. Do you mean in terms of changing the HoC electoral system? If so, to use what system?

10:02 pm, January 15, 2007

Blogger Luke Akehurst said...

Yes - to something more proportional but still keeping the constituency link for the majority of MPs. I think the Jenkins Commission recommendations (AV+) were a good compromise - kept constituencies, but with a list element to introduce more proportionality. A lot of current concerns about alienation of our core vote would be addressed if turning out to vote in safe Labour seats had more impact on the overall national result.

7:26 am, January 16, 2007

Anonymous matt said...

Thanks for your answer Luke.

If we were to go down the road of HoC reform, I too would plump for this option.

I'd quite like the 'list' section to be kept reasonably small so that there was still a good chance of avoiding the need for coalitions should a party gain 40%+ of the popular vote (whereas in Wales with the similar 'AMS' system, Labour despite acheiving that 40% of the popular vote in 2003 only just managed a majority).

6:08 pm, January 16, 2007

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I quite like AV +. It could well be introduced if and when we see a hung parliament. I believe that it would help to secure progressive politics for a generation.

11:48 pm, January 16, 2007


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