Proportional Representation: House of Commons — [Mr Nigel Evans in the Chair]

Part of the debate – in Westminster Hall at 5:49 pm on 23rd April 2019.

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Photo of Kevin Foster Kevin Foster Assistant Whip, The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Wales, The Parliamentary Secretary, Cabinet Office 5:49 pm, 23rd April 2019

Thank you, Mr Evans. I will make sure to follow your guidance and leave a minute at the end. I thank hon. Members, particularly the shadow Minister, Cat Smith and the SNP spokesperson, Tommy Sheppard, for their warm wishes for my first debate in this role.

The Government welcome this debate and the opportunity to address the important issues that have been raised by hon. Members, as well as the online engagement around the debate. Unsurprisingly, hon. Members have made their arguments eloquently, but given the time, I will not have a chance to analyse each individual point—not least given the myriad systems that have been suggested, which could take some time to explain. Ultimately, how we select our representatives in Parliament is of fundamental importance and hon. Members rightly have strong views. The voting system used by voters is central to that concern and goes to the heart of our democracy. The Government are committed to ensuring that the laws governing our elections are clear and accessible, and generate the greatest degree of confidence in the outcome of elections.

Under the first-past-the-post system, electors select their preferred candidate for their constituency. The candidate with the largest number of votes wins and the party with the largest number of elected candidates may form the Government, if they achieve the confidence of the House.