UKIP has teamed up with the Liberal Democrats, Greens, the SNP, and Plaid Cymru to renew demands for a fairer electoral system that allocates representation in Parliament proportional to the number of votes won.
The coalition is proposing a motion to the House of Commons arguing the current First-past-the-post (FPTP) system is not “fit for purpose”, calling for the government to implement a new Proportional Representation (PR) system.
The move follows a petition, demanding similar changes, receiving the backing of some 500,000 people.
In 2015, the Green Party, Liberal Democrats, and UKIP won almost 25 per cent of the votes, but have just 1.6 per cent of MPs. UKIP won 3.8 million votes and won one MP, whilst the SNP won 1.5 million votes but have 56 MPs.
It was the most disproportionate general election since 1918, with 74 per cent of votes ‘wasted’.
Chuka Umunna, the Labour MP and former shadow business secretary, proposed the motion. According to the Independent, he said:
“Since the general election last year, the pressure is building and a consensus is coming together behind the need to change the system. The Brexit vote has added to that, underlining people’s discontent with the voting system.”
The motion claims “the current system of electing Members of Parliament is no longer fit for purpose”, and says “the share of seats a party gets should closely reflect the share of votes that people give them”.
Nigel Farage has long supported electoral reform. On the night of the 2015 election, he told reporters: “The most likely outcome is a lot of UKIP votes and a lot of angry UKIP voters. They are going to feel unrepresented.”
The outgoing UKIP leader signed a letter, organised by campaign group Make Votes Matter, shortly after the Brexit vote, arguing a newly elected parliament was required to make “fundamental choices” in the aftermath of the referendum and that it should be constituted according to the votes cast.