New Clause 88 — Referendum on voting systems

Part of Bill Presented — Climate Change (Sectoral Targets) Bill – in the House of Commons at 6:15 pm on 9th February 2010.

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Photo of Dominic Grieve Dominic Grieve Shadow Secretary of State (Justice) 6:15 pm, 9th February 2010

In a moment. [Hon. Members: "Frit!"] I am sure that there is a desire to interrupt an account of what happened in 2007, because it highlights the full extent to which the Government cut the ground from under their own arguments.

In January 2008, the Secretary of State published his review, from which the section on the alternative vote system had mysteriously and conveniently disappeared. However, anyone bothered to read the detail would see that the review provides a snapshot of what would have happened at the 2005 general election, had it been run under a variety of voting systems. Helpfully for the Prime Minister, on page 130 it also provides a useful ready reckoner. It considers in depth the d'Hondt method, the least-squares proportionality system and Arrow's paradox, but what was plumped for was the only system that would have given Labour even more seats than first-past-the-post at the 2005 election. I might add that the same system was the only one that would have given the Conservative party fewer seats than in 2005-even though, in England, we gained a majority of the votes cast.

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