I was listening to the BBC’s generally excellent stats show More or Less the other day and it was said that there was not one MP who had been elected with over 50 per cent of the electorate (not just those voting). That seemed like an interesting fact and I thought I’d grab the data for the last general election and knock up a quick graph.
What is interesting is range goes from 17.6 per cent at the bottom to 46.1 per cent at the top. I’m not claiming this means any MP does not have a democratic mandate – democracy is decided by those who turn up. But it certainly does put into context the Conservative party’s proposals to change the laws around strike ballots so that they will only be valid if 40 per cent of affected union members vote for it. Only 38 out of 650 MPs were elected by over 40 per cent of their electorate.
Aside from the obvious muzzling of workers with genuine disputes, this effectively means we would have two classes of democracy: one premier class of democracy for MPs where those who don’t vote don’t count; and a second class form for workers fighting for their rights where non-voters count as a vote against. This is profoundly anti-democratic.
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