Letter: Distortions under a supplementary vote system

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The Independent Online
Sir: While supporting the recommendation of the Plant working party to move away from first past the post, I cannot support the proposal for a supplementary vote system (report, 21 April).

Such a system is not proportional to the number of votes cast, would do nothing to redress geographical imbalance of representation, and would work against increasing the proportion of female MPs.

The Labour Party needs to give careful consideration to the additional member system - the German system, the system Italy has just voted for - which retains the merits of single member constituencies while avoiding the disadvantages of the supplementary vote and first past the post.

I look forward to publication in the next few weeks of the final Plant Report, the result of three years of detailed study, and to a widening of the essential debate on electoral reform.

Yours faithfully,


MEP for London East (Lab)

Ilford, Essex

22 April