[EM] U.K. Voting Systems, 3rd edition

DEMOREP1 at aol.com DEMOREP1 at aol.com
Sun Jul 4 16:57:11 PDT 1999

The below Research Paper pdf file shows how primitive (i.e. in the political 
barbarian Dark Ages) the ANTI-DEMOCRATIC plurality- single member district 
gerrymander system is for electing legislative bodies in  Canada, India, U.K. 
and the U.S.A and any other similar areas.
has a link to----
[U.K. House of Commons Library]

14 DECEMBER 1998 

Voting Systems - The Government's Proposals (3rd revised edition)


This Paper seeks to draw together the Government's proposals for new systems 
of voting for the European Parliament, the Scottish Parliament, the Welsh 
National Assembly, the new Northern Ireland Assembly and the Greater London 
Authority. It discusses common themes related to those elections. It also 
summarises the proposals of the Jenkins Commission which has recommended an 
alternative system to First Past the Post so that a referendum can be held 
during the lifetime of this Parliament on a new voting system for the House 
of Commons. Finally the possibility of a new voting system for local 
government is briefly discussed. This Paper replaces Research Paper 98/80. 
More detailed consideration of voting systems is given in Research Paper 
98/112 Voting Systems: The Jenkins Report. This Paper is designed so that 
each section can be used separately as a guide to the voting procedures of 
the relevant institution, and so there is an unavoidable element of 

   Oonagh Gay
  Bryn Morgan

  --- Summary of main points

  The Government introduced Bills in the 1997-8 Session to create new voting 
systems for the European Parliament, the National Assembly for Wales and the 
Scottish Parliament. There are some common themes which are explored briefly 
in the introduction to this Paper. A closed list system is intended for the 
European Parliament and for the additional member aspect of the Additional 
Member System (AMS) proposed for the National Assembly and the Scottish 
Parliament. In effect electors vote for a party rather than an individual 
candidate. Greater attention focuses on party candidate selection procedures, 
and all the major parties have been reviewing their systems for the new types 
of elections expected in 1999. The role of MEPs, and members of the National 
Assembly for Wales, and the Scottish Parliament may undergo review following 
the introduction of party lists. In addition legislation to create the new 
Northern Ireland Assembly has meant that another form of PR, the Single 
Transferable Vote, is being used for a devolved assembly in that province. At 
Second Reading of the European Parliamentary Election Bill, the Home 
Secretary promised to review the possibility of an open list system on the 
Belgian model, but a final decision was announced before Commons Report stage 
that the closed list system would be used. 84 MEPs will be elected under a 
Regional List System. Scotland and Wales will form one single electoral 
system each, and England will be divided into nine regions, each with between 
4-11 MEPs. Single Transferable Vote (STV) for Northern Ireland is preserved. 
The Bill was finally lost after the Commons and Lords could not agree on 
closed and open lists. A new Bill has been introduced, which is identical to 
the 1997-8 one and which is discussed in Research Paper 98/102 The European 
Parliamentary Elections Bill The Additional Member System is planned for 
elections to the National Assembly for Wales and the Scottish Assembly. The 
elector has two votes, one for a constituency MP and one for an additional 
member selected from party lists for a electoral region. In Wales there will 
be 40 constituency members and 20 additional members. In Scotland there will 
be 73 constituency members and 56 additional members. At present closed lists 
will operate for the Additional Member aspect and the Government has no plans 
to introduce open lists. In Northern Ireland 108 Members, 6 for each 
Parliamentary constituency, have been elected using STV. The Greater London 
Authority Bill is expected to have its second reading on 14 and 15 December 
1998. It will introduce an AMS system for the elections of Assembly members 
and Supplementary Vote (SV) will be used for the election of a Mayor for 
London. Elections are expected in May 2000. The Government promised in its 
manifesto for the 1997 election that it would set up an independent 
commission to recommend an appropriate proportional voting system to First 
Past the Post (FPTP) for the House of Commons. A referendum would then be 
held to allow voters a choice between the two systems. An independent 
commission under Lord Jenkins was announced in December 1997, and reported in 
October 1998. It proposed a version of AMS, using the Alternative Vote in the 
constituency element and with 15-20 per cent of the seats elected on an open 
list system, to be known as Top-up Members. It is not yet clear when the 
referendum will be held. Further detail on the Jenkins report is given in 
Research Paper 98/112 Voting Systems: The Jenkins Report.

Related Library Research Papers include:

98/118 The Greater London Authority Bill: Electoral and Constitutional 
Aspects Bill 7 of 1998-99
98/115 The Greater London Authority Bill [Bill 7 of 1998-9] 11.12.98
98/112 Voting Systems: The Jenkins Report 09.12.98
98/102 The European Parliamentary Elections Bill [Bill 4 of 1998-9] 01.12.98
98/76 The Northern Ireland Bill: Implementing the Belfast Agreement 20.07.98
[Bill No 229]
98/62 The Registration of Political Parties Bill [Bill 188 of 1997-8] 01.06.98
98/57 Northern Ireland: Political Developments since 1972 11.05.98
98/1 The Scotland Bill: Devolution and Scotland's Parliament 07.01.98
97/129 The Government of Wales Bill: Devolution and the National 04.12.97
97/120 The European Parliamentary Elections Bill [Bill 65 of 1997-98] 19.11.97
97/114 The Greater London Authority (Referendum) Bill 06.11.97
[Bill 61 of 1997-98]
The below 1999 reports continue the above-- at


99/64 Elections to the European Parliament - June 1999 18. 06. 99

99/57 European Parliament Elections - 1979 to 1994 02. 06. 99

99/54 Institutional Reform in the European Union 20. 05. 99

99/52 The Local Elections of 6 May 1999 11. 05. 99

99/51 Welsh Assembly Elections: 6 May 1999 11. 05. 99

99/50 Scottish Parliament Elections: 6 May 1999 11. 05. 99

99/46 Local Elections - Proposals for Reform 28. 04. 99

99/7 The House of Lords Bill: Lords reform and wider constitutional reform 
[Bill 34 of 1998-99] 28. 01. 99

99/6 The House of Lords Bill : Options for "Stage Two" [Bill 34 of 1998-99] 
28. 01. 99

99/5 The House of Lords Bill :"Stage One" Issues [Bill 34 of 1998-99]28. 01. 

More information about the Election-Methods mailing list