Letter: Vote for Jenkins

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The Independent Culture
Sir: We are sorry that Ken Livingstone has abandoned his long commitment to a fairer voting system (Comment, 4 November). But, like far too many of those who have leapt to attack the Jenkins Report, Ken does not appear to have read it.

Its proposals are not "even worse" than the existing first-past-the-post system. Jenkins maintains the constituency link while increasing significantly the proportionality of the overall result through top-up members. It is a unique home-grown system that will maintain effective government, be fairer to all the parties and give voters more choice.

Ken challenges the report's analysis of what would have happened in the last four elections under the Jenkins system (smaller overall majorities for the winning parties in 1983, 1987 and 1997, a balanced Parliament in 1992). While Ken's prognoses of even bigger Tory majorities in the 1980s appear to be plucked out of thin air, the report's are based on months of painstaking research by several psephologists working independently.

Ben Bradshaw MP

(Exeter, Lab)

Lynne Jones MP

(Birmingham Selly Oak, Lab)

House of Commons

London SW1

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