Steve Fenton

Election 2017 boundaries

I don’t “do politics” and I apologise that this is political – but not in the sense that I am interested in promoting the interests of any particular political party. I just want to highlight the flavour of democracy in the UK.

Did you ever wonder how important the boundaries are in a general election in the UK? What would happen if every vote counted? Here is a quick summary.

Election 2017 Actual vs Proportational

This chart shows the parties, excluding “Other”, “Ind”, and parties getting less than 100,000 votes in total.

The blue bar on the left for each party is the actual seats won. The yellow bar on the right is number of seats they would have at “average cost”, i.e. just shy of 50,000 votes per seat. It is quite a stunning contrast.

To put it another way, considering the actual number of votes per seat is 50,000 – how would you feel about the fact that some seats could be obtained with just 28,000 votes (total SNP votes divided by number of seats gained) – or that others required 198,000 votes (total Liberal Democrat votes divided by number of seats gained).

Or how about this, the Green Party obtained 1 seat with 525,371 total votes – but you could get more than 15 seats with that number if the votes were geographically closer (DUP + Sinn Féin got 17 seats with 531,231 votes).

This is a disadvantage to parties with a strong yet geographically distributed vote, which is a shame – as aren’t these the kind of parties that represent us better?

Source: UK Election 2017 – The Guardian

Written by Steve Fenton on