Letter: Tories too can benefit from voting reform

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The Independent Online
Tories too can benefit from voting reform

Sir: While it is obvious, as more voters resort to tactical voting, why the Prime Minister should feel hostile towards any Lib-Lab alignment, it is less understandable why he should lay such emphasis on his dislike of any electoral reform ("Lib-Lab talks to test electoral reform", 6 January).

For there are scores of constituencies in which Liberal Democrat candidates are traditionally in third place. Realising next spring that their man cannot win, are Liberal Democrat supporters more likely to give their support to Labour, which has promised a referendum on electoral reform, or to Conservatives whose leadership has expressed unequivocal opposition?

In 1951, after a hard-won Tory victory, Winston Churchill declared: "We must not be blind to the anomaly which bas brought to this House 186 representatives who are returned only by a minority of those who voted in their constituencies. Nor can we, to whatever party we belong, overlook the constitutional injustice done to 2,600,000 voters [Liberals] who, voting upon a strong tradition, have been able to return only nine Members of Parliament.... I do not think this is a matter which we can brush aside."

Sir FREDERIC BENNETT

Aberangell, Gwynedd

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