I recently joined a small but energetic group of people from Brighton & Hove and Lewes to discuss how people who were broadly speaking aligned with left wing thinking, but not narrowly focused on any one party could work together. A bit further into Sussex there is a small facebook group which is discussing similar issues and concerns thanks to the intervention of a work colleague of mine who lives in the Wealden area. The common frustration that these groups have is that across Sussex as a whole, with an electorate of 1.2M, a mere 407,000 people or 33% of those entitled to vote, voted for the Conservative Party, yet 14 of the 16 MPs in Sussex are Conservative MPs. Today the Electoral Reform Society is promoting its report that shows that the 2015 General Election was the most disproportionate election in history, something that reinforces our own concerns. Had the votes in Sussex led to MPs in proportion to the votes cast, we would have elected 3 Labour MPs, 2 Lib Dem MPs, 2 UKIP MPs and 1 Green MP. The Conservatives would still have dominated Sussex, but their 8 MPs whilst making them the largest single party would only have reflected half the seats in Sussex, not the 14 they currently have. Outside of Brighton & Hove there is not a single person who voted Labour, Green, UKIP or Lib Dem that can see any evidence for the way they cast their vote! That is 331,000 people who have found democracy wanting.
Clearly the Government is not going to change the way in which the system works and listening to Margaret Beckett on this mornings Radio 4 she and colleagues in Labour apparently have no desire for change either. I have news for both Political Parties, many of us are far from happy!