Letter: Unfair voting system worse than ever

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The Independent Online
Sir: There have already been two post-war elections (1951 and 1974) when the party receiving the largest total vote won fewer seats than its rival. An analysis of the 1997 results shows that this potential distortion is now far greater.

The Labour lead nationally was 13 points. A uniform swing of 6.5 per cent from Labour to Conservative, giving an equality of total votes, would nevertheless award Labour 78 more seats than the Tories, and an overall majority of 15. For the Labour and Tory shares of seats to be equal would require a Tory lead of over 6 points, while they would need about a 10- point lead to secure an overall majority.

Regardless of one's political allegiance (and I have always been anti- Tory) this distortion calls for some form of PR before the next election.

ALAN PAVELIN

Chislehurst, Kent

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