Who are you voting for in the General Election 2015? (Poll)

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Who are you voting for in the General Election 2015?

Labour
7
29%
Conservative
4
17%
Liberal Democrat
2
8%
UKIP
1
4%
Green
5
21%
SNP
1
4%
Plaid Cymru
0
No votes
DUP
0
No votes
SDLP
0
No votes
Sinn Fein
0
No votes
Alliance
0
No votes
Respect
0
No votes
Independent candidate
1
4%
Other
1
4%
None (spoiling ballot)
0
No votes
None (abstaining)
1
4%
None (ineligible to vote)
1
4%
None (other)
0
No votes
 
Total votes: 24

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Jennifer Steadman
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Who are you voting for in the General Election 2015? (Poll)

Post by Jennifer Steadman » Thu May 07, 2015 11:28 am

Gwaaaaan #TeamGevin

Feel free to post your reasons why below.

As of 12:28pm I am undecided, but I am going to vote!
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Re: Who are you voting for in the General Election 2015? (Poll)

Post by James Laverty » Thu May 07, 2015 11:56 am

Live in a constituency with only 5 candidates but voting Labour as they are supporting the arts!
Definitely not Jamie McNeill or Schrodinger's Cat....

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Re: Who are you voting for in the General Election 2015? (Poll)

Post by Gavin Chipper » Thu May 07, 2015 2:07 pm

Me.

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Re: Who are you voting for in the General Election 2015? (Poll)

Post by Marc Meakin » Thu May 07, 2015 2:49 pm

I think this country is overcrowded, ,I want a referendum on Europe.
I would sooner have a red hot poker shoved up my arse than vote for Cameron.
I can't believe the arrogance of Milliband to refuse a coalition with the SNP, or yield to a referendum.
We don't live in Utopia, sorry Greens.
Lib Dems, don't make me laugh.
Has to be UKIP
Farage might talk a lot of bollocks but at least he is genuine and believes in his policies
Last edited by Marc Meakin on Thu May 07, 2015 2:56 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Who are you voting for in the General Election 2015? (Poll)

Post by Marc Meakin » Thu May 07, 2015 2:50 pm

Well done Gevin for posting this as I have been wanting this for ages
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Re: Who are you voting for in the General Election 2015? (Poll)

Post by Jennifer Steadman » Thu May 07, 2015 3:32 pm

Marc Meakin wrote:Well done Gevin for posting this as I have been wanting this for ages
Gevin?
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Re: Who are you voting for in the General Election 2015? (Poll)

Post by Mark Deeks » Thu May 07, 2015 5:51 pm

Marc Meakin wrote:Farage might talk a lot of bollocks but at least he is genuine and believes in his policies
Do you believe in his policies?
Eoin Monaghan wrote:
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Re: Who are you voting for in the General Election 2015? (Poll)

Post by Gavin Chipper » Thu May 07, 2015 6:14 pm

Mark Deeks wrote:
Marc Meakin wrote:Farage might talk a lot of bollocks but at least he is genuine and believes in his policies
Do you believe in his policies?
Also, I think I've posted this elsewhere (maybe on this forum), but the thing about him being genuine - it's just that the way he talks comes across to people (some people anyway) as more "natural" than the way other politicians come across. But it's just the way he talks. It doesn't mean anything. For people that are so cynical about politicians' honesty, how come they're taken in by some guy just because he has a pint of beer and a fag and talks like a cunt - sorry, er, talks naturally?

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Re: Who are you voting for in the General Election 2015? (Poll)

Post by Matt Morrison » Thu May 07, 2015 6:28 pm

Gavin Chipper wrote:For people that are so cynical about politicians' honesty, how come they're taken in by some guy just because he has a pint of beer and a fag and talks like a cunt - sorry, er, talks naturally?
Haven't you kind of answered your own question? He is different. Different to the people who are considered dishonest. Therefore he is honest. It's an easy ploy.
And asking "why do you claim to hate dishonesty but like this guy who is dishonest?" is a non-starter if people don't recognise that dishonesty. It's only your recognition that makes their position hypocritical.

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Re: Who are you voting for in the General Election 2015? (Poll)

Post by Marc Meakin » Thu May 07, 2015 10:18 pm

Sorry Jennifer, thanks for posting the poll
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Re: Who are you voting for in the General Election 2015? (Poll)

Post by Marc Meakin » Thu May 07, 2015 10:23 pm

to Mark Deeks.
No i don't agree with ALL his policies but I am anti EU and pro the Australian system of immigration.
We are just too overcrowded in this country. worried about social housing .
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Re: Who are you voting for in the General Election 2015? (Poll)

Post by Mark Deeks » Fri May 08, 2015 5:57 am

Define 'overcrowded', if you will.
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Re: Who are you voting for in the General Election 2015? (Poll)

Post by Steven M. McCann » Fri May 08, 2015 1:00 pm

Once again great forecasting by the pre-election pollsters! who on earth did they they poll? liars, loonies, toddlers, windup merchants?
How on earth could they get the result so badly wrong?

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Re: Who are you voting for in the General Election 2015? (Poll)

Post by Marc Meakin » Fri May 08, 2015 8:23 pm

Overcrowded.
70 million legal people in this country, several million more illegals
Not enough houses for everyone, NHS at breaking point, London Transport getting more like Tokyo everyday.
Need I go on.
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Re: Who are you voting for in the General Election 2015? (Poll)

Post by Gavin Chipper » Fri May 08, 2015 8:32 pm

Matt Morrison wrote:
Gavin Chipper wrote:For people that are so cynical about politicians' honesty, how come they're taken in by some guy just because he has a pint of beer and a fag and talks like a cunt - sorry, er, talks naturally?
Haven't you kind of answered your own question? He is different. Different to the people who are considered dishonest. Therefore he is honest. It's an easy ploy.
And asking "why do you claim to hate dishonesty but like this guy who is dishonest?" is a non-starter if people don't recognise that dishonesty. It's only your recognition that makes their position hypocritical.
I don't think so. He comes across slightly differently from politicians that people see as dishonest but that doesn't automatically make him honest. And I wasn't saying about liking this guy who's dishonest, but liking him just because he drinks beer and smokes. It's so transparent.
Last edited by Gavin Chipper on Mon May 11, 2015 10:32 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Who are you voting for in the General Election 2015? (Poll)

Post by Clive Brooker » Sat May 09, 2015 9:38 am

Steven M. McCann wrote:Once again great forecasting by the pre-election pollsters! who on earth did they they poll? liars, loonies, toddlers, windup merchants?
How on earth could they get the result so badly wrong?
What evidence is there that the pre-election polls were wrong?

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Re: Who are you voting for in the General Election 2015? (Poll)

Post by Graeme Cole » Sat May 09, 2015 12:24 pm

Marc Meakin wrote:Not enough houses for everyone
Because we haven't built enough. Housebuilding has declined over the last few decades (see the graph at the top), particularly in the last decade. Immigration has been going on for much longer than that, but it's only in the last decade or two that prices have been so high compared to wages. There's a huge and growing number of homeowners who see a house as an investment rather than a dwelling and would very much prefer it if there weren't any more supply. Some of these are the same people who blame all the country's problems on immigration... :roll:
Marc Meakin wrote:NHS at breaking point
Of all the issues to pick to argue against immigration, you pick the NHS, which relies hugely on migrant labour? It's probably the biggest single employer of foreign-born workers in the country. People born abroad make up a quarter of UK doctors, compared to about one eighth of the general population.
Marc Meakin wrote:London Transport getting more like Tokyo everyday.
Genuinely can't tell what you mean. Famously reliable and punctual? Crowded? Full of Japanese people?
Marc Meakin wrote:Need I go on.
Please continue, we could do with a laugh.

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Re: Who are you voting for in the General Election 2015? (Poll)

Post by Graeme Cole » Sat May 09, 2015 12:43 pm

Steven M. McCann wrote:Once again great forecasting by the pre-election pollsters! who on earth did they they poll? liars, loonies, toddlers, windup merchants?
How on earth could they get the result so badly wrong?
I don't get why everyone's so worked up about this. They're polls. They're based on probability and have an element of uncertainty in them, like the weather forecast. Sometimes they're wrong. If the election is close, sometimes a deviation which in another situation would be uninteresting means you get a different outcome from what you expected.

Anyway, the polls themselves weren't far off. It was the analysis of them that was wrong. Most of the polls put the Conservatives and Labour on about 33-34%, usually with the Conservatives very slightly ahead. UKIP were on about 13%, LD on around 8% and Green on about 5%. The actual share of the vote was 36.9% for the Conservatives, 30.4% for Labour, 12.6% for UKIP, 7.9% for the Lib Dems, and 3.8% for the Greens. It wasn't a huge deviation - these polls usually come with a margin of error of about 3% - but the error was great enough, and the election close enough, that the conclusions we'd drawn from the polls were wrong. Everyone assumed that Labour and Conservative would be very close, and they weren't, due to a combination of the polling error margin and our electoral system in which votes don't necessarily translate to seats.

The BBC published an exit poll as soon as voting closed. The number of Conservative seats forecast was 316, but again, it's an estimate. Nobody expects that number to be exactly right. It was close enough to the winning post (326) that the exit poll's headline, revealed at 10pm, was very carefully worded. It was not "hung parliament" or "Conservative majority", but "Conservatives largest party", and the statistician they interviewed explained that although they thought 316 seats was the best guess, there are probabilities involved, and they weren't confident enough to rule out a Conservative majority.

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Re: Who are you voting for in the General Election 2015? (Poll)

Post by Gavin Chipper » Sat May 09, 2015 2:06 pm

I tend to take the polls with a pinch of salt. For a start, they were far more obsessed with percentage of the vote rather than number of seats, and secondly I tend to go by Betfair. And it was out. It was pretty much evens for a Miliband/Cameron government, although the Tories were always expected to get more seats. But you could have got better than 10/1 for a Tory majority (more than 100/1 for Labour).

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Re: Who are you voting for in the General Election 2015? (Poll)

Post by Marc Meakin » Sat May 09, 2015 6:12 pm

Ok, mr flippant.
I'm sure you know what I mean, regarding the overcrowding on the trains and the comparisons with Tokyo.
I use the NHS, purely with regards to health tourism and the fact that migrants currently have no restrictions when entering the country, with regards to free healthcare, I appreciate that because we are part of the EU, there is not a lot that can be done about this, well at least not until the referendum.

I think the Australian points system is a far fairer way to do things.
Without migrant labour in the 50's and 60's, this country would have been poorer for it, but nowadays, a lot of migrants are working below minimum wage,affecting employment for British people.

Apart from the head in the clouds (or up their arses) Greens, its plain to see that this country needs to control migration and to only accept people that can support themselves and are providing skills that we are short of.

Hope your sides are nt splitting too much

I realise that attacking a national Countdown treasure like yourself will probably get me pelters on here, but I couldn't let it lie
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Re: Who are you voting for in the General Election 2015? (Poll)

Post by JimBentley » Sat May 09, 2015 7:38 pm

Clive Brooker wrote:
Steven M. McCann wrote:Once again great forecasting by the pre-election pollsters! who on earth did they they poll? liars, loonies, toddlers, windup merchants?
How on earth could they get the result so badly wrong?
What evidence is there that the pre-election polls were wrong?
(from http://ukpollingreport.co.uk/)

7th May 2015 - The Final Four Polls

Lord Ashcroft’s final poll has topline figures of CON 33%, LAB 33%, LDEM 10%, UKIP 11%, GRN 6%;
Ipsos MORI have final figures of CON 36%, LAB 35%, LDEM 8%, UKIP 11%, GRN 5%;
Populus have final figures of CON 33%, LAB 33%, LDEM 10%, UKIP 14%, GRN 5%;
ICM have published ... interim numbers were 35-35, today’s final figures shift only slightly to CON 34%, LAB 35%, LDEM 9%, UKIP 11%, GRN 4% ...

and so on. I've been following the polls for the last few months and it was notable that the closer the date of the election, the smaller the gap between Labour and Conservative became. I can't be bothered to dig up all the newspaper polls from the days leading up but there was a definite consensus, in that the Conservatives would win the most seats and get the largest share of the popular vote, the SNP would pretty much take Scotland, but it would still be a hung parliament. Everyone was pretty sure it would be something like CON 280 LAB 270 SNP 55 LIB 20 or similar.

And then suddenly the exit poll, at 10.00pm on the night shows CON 37%, LAB 31%, suggesting about 310 CON seats and 250ish LAB. This was the only poll that was even close, and it still didn't go far enough. If I was a conspiracy nut, I'd suggest that some of these pollsters have got their thumb on the scales when it suits...the interests of their associates.
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Re: Who are you voting for in the General Election 2015? (Poll)

Post by Clive Brooker » Sat May 09, 2015 8:53 pm

The fact that the pre-election polls were so consistent suggests to me that they were as near as they could have been to being correct at the time they were conducted, and that the differences observed in the final results were caused by last-minute movements or very late decisions.

From time to time the pollsters reminded us that a large proportion of people were still undecided. I don't know whether this election was unusual in this respect. I do remember that in 1997 some Tories clung to the hope of a late swing, when the real picture was that most people had made up their minds well before polling day.

This time, my sense was that most of the prominent issues overhanging the campaign were ones that were most likely to breed doubt in voters inclined towards Labour. For that reason I always expected a late movement to the Tories, although I hoped it wouldn't happen. But that's only my outlook on things. Maybe a typical Tory-inclined voter had a quite different set of doubts which I was unaware of.

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Re: Who are you voting for in the General Election 2015? (Poll)

Post by Mark Deeks » Sat May 09, 2015 9:38 pm

Marc Meakin wrote:I realise that attacking
It's eye-opening that you thought disagreeing with Graeme is attacking. It's just a conversation!
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Re: Who are you voting for in the General Election 2015? (Poll)

Post by Marc Meakin » Sat May 09, 2015 9:54 pm

Well I guess if Graham is not a Green supporter then I'm not attacking him.
I'm a little bit defensive because I'm fed up of people in general (not neccasarily on here) because of the ' If you support or a agree with UKIP policy, somehow you must be racist.'
It couldn't be further from the truth.
Sometimes patriotism and racism gets blurred
Rant over
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Re: Who are you voting for in the General Election 2015? (Poll)

Post by Graeme Cole » Sun May 10, 2015 1:15 am

Marc Meakin wrote:I use the NHS, purely with regards to health tourism and the fact that migrants currently have no restrictions when entering the country, with regards to free healthcare, I appreciate that because we are part of the EU, there is not a lot that can be done about this, well at least not until the referendum.
Yes, there are restrictions. Routine NHS treatment is free only to those living in the UK legally. And the chances are that someone living in the UK legally will be contributing to the economy by doing a job and paying taxes (a far lower proportion of immigrants claim benefits compared to UK nationals), so why should they not also get the free healthcare enjoyed by everyone else?

Certain NHS facilities are free to everybody, regardless of whether they meet the residency requirements. Emergency treatment is the obvious one. If you were listening to Nigel Farage in the TV debates you'll know that HIV treatment is another. Personally I don't have a problem with that.
Marc Meakin wrote:I think the Australian points system is a far fairer way to do things.
Without migrant labour in the 50's and 60's, this country would have been poorer for it, but nowadays, a lot of migrants are working below minimum wage,affecting employment for British people.

Apart from the head in the clouds (or up their arses) Greens, its plain to see that this country needs to control migration and to only accept people that can support themselves and are providing skills that we are short of.
Then the problem is not too many migrants, it's that some employers are illegally paying below the minimum wage. And in the 50s and 60s there was no minimum wage, so employers could pay immigrants (and anyone else) as little as they liked.

In the 50s and 60s there were campaigns against immigration. In some places it was extreme. You accept that the immigration then was a change for the better. The fact is that every time there's a wave of immigration to the UK, a subset of the population and the press condemn it and say that all the immigration that happened years ago was fine, but this new lot, this has gone too far. In 50 years' time, people will be having the same conversation... "yeah, everyone accepts that the Eastern Europeans who came over in the 2000s and 2010s were a net asset to the country, but this new lot in 2055... it's gone too far now." See the pattern?

FWIW, I don't think everyone who votes UKIP is racist. They might be ill-informed from getting all their information on the world from the Daily Mail or Express, or have a desire to return to some past utopia that never existed, but that itself doesn't make someone racist, just perhaps reluctant to think properly. I'm even prepared to believe Nigel Farage is not himself racist, although he's many other things, including being on an ill-advised mission to drag us out of the EU for dubious reasons. UKIP does contain more than its fair share of people with racist, xenophobic or homophobic views, though.

A comedian I heard on the radio put it best. I think it was Andy Zaltzman. Whoever it was said "UKIP are not a racist party in the same way a jar of jam is not a wasp. They're not the same thing, but you do get a lot of one buzzing around the other."

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Re: Who are you voting for in the General Election 2015? (Poll)

Post by Marc Meakin » Sun May 10, 2015 4:50 pm

Goodness me Graham, even a broken clock is right twice a day, better stick to what your best at eh.

The immigrants in the fifties and sixties,were doing jobs that we were not prepared to do as a nation like road building, mainly the Irish.
The service industry, like British Rail, London Transport the NHS tc..Mainly Afro Caribbeans.
Also Doctors from India and Pakistan.
We as a nation were/are obligated to people from the Commonwealth, not least as our (use the term losely as I think the mid and upper classes were the beneficiaries )forefathers raped and pillaged their lands in one way or another and are entitled to reap any benefits that they could get from coming here.

The free trade from the EU are encouraging Cheap labour per se in this country, Most farm workers in Kent are immigrants (some illegal I might add) the crime rate in East Kent is sky high,not least because of the high percentage of Eastern Europeans.

So I am begrudging the latest influx from the Eastern Bloc their right to be here.
I am anti EU and would like to see us pull out.
We managed ok before and we will again.

It's interesting that some prospective UKIP candidates are second generation Immigrants from the Commonwealth.

IMHO we need to control our borders , end of
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Re: Who are you voting for in the General Election 2015? (Poll)

Post by Jennifer Steadman » Sun May 10, 2015 6:01 pm

Marc Meakin wrote:Goodness me Graham, even a broken clock is right twice a day, better stick to what your best at eh.
Bit rich to suggest Graeme is wrong when you can't even be arsed to spell his name correctly despite it being right there on the screen.

Besides, I'm more inclined to trust someone who can support their claims with evidence (as he did in his links) than someone who, er, doesn't.
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Re: Who are you voting for in the General Election 2015? (Poll)

Post by Marc Meakin » Sun May 10, 2015 7:00 pm

Graeme may not be so precious about the spelling of his moniker than you think. It's a tad pedantic really, though if that's the best you can come up with in picking holes, then fair enough, I never implied that I'm totally right
And giving links to data does not neccesarily make his argument irrifutable. (deliberate typos to give you something else to pick over).
I only picked holes in his cyclic approach to immigration.
I would add some data but can't be arsed.
I don't have to post links to facts when I have lived here for over fifty years.
Keywords : Windrush , Idi Amin, Commonwealth, immigration if you want further information
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Re: Who are you voting for in the General Election 2015? (Poll)

Post by Gavin Chipper » Sun May 10, 2015 7:17 pm

Tories got two votes in this poll. Who are you?!

By the way, I've been watching a few interviews and stuff on TV about why Labour lost and I think there's a lot of over-analysing about their policies. Speak to the average guy on the street - he's pretty clueless about the specifics. I'd say the two main things were: firstly Miliband being constantly mocked for his appearance/eating a bacon sandwich and just "not being leadership material" (whatever that means) generally and secondly, the scaremongering about how voting for Labour could mean a Labour/SNP government. Shock horror!

But if it did come down to their policies, I don't think it was anything to do with being "too left wing" as some have said. If anything it's that they weren't distinct enough from the Tories as was shown up in the leadership debates by SNP/Plaid/Greens. And as far as I understand, most people want the trains and energy renationalised but Labour won't touch the subject with a bargepole, presumably because they're scared of the right-wing press. Fucking well stand up to them!

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Re: Who are you voting for in the General Election 2015? (Poll)

Post by Graeme Cole » Sun May 10, 2015 8:57 pm

Marc Meakin wrote:Goodness me Graham, even a broken clock is right twice a day, better stick to what your best at eh.

The immigrants in the fifties and sixties,were doing jobs that we were not prepared to do as a nation like road building, mainly the Irish.
The service industry, like British Rail, London Transport the NHS tc..Mainly Afro Caribbeans.
Also Doctors from India and Pakistan.
We as a nation were/are obligated to people from the Commonwealth, not least as our (use the term losely as I think the mid and upper classes were the beneficiaries )forefathers raped and pillaged their lands in one way or another and are entitled to reap any benefits that they could get from coming here.

The free trade from the EU are encouraging Cheap labour per se in this country, Most farm workers in Kent are immigrants (some illegal I might add)
So what would you rather see? The number of workers deliberately kept low to make wages artificially higher?
Marc Meakin wrote:the crime rate in East Kent is sky high,not least because of the high percentage of Eastern Europeans.
What makes you say that? Do you have evidence that a disproportionate amount of the crime in east Kent is committed by Eastern Europeans?

It's not as if east Kent even has a "high percentage" of immigrants, either. Here is a map showing the proportion of foreign-born residents by region as of the 2011 census (bottom of page). Look at east Kent on the map. In Thanet, 8.59% of residents are foreign born. In Dover, the figure is 7.31%. In Canterbury it's 10.96% and in Shepway it's 9.25%. All of these are below the national average which is about 12%.

The picture is the same in other areas of the country where UKIP support is highest - UKIP support is strongest in places where there's very little immigration. It's almost as if the popularity of UKIP is based on fear rather than facts.
Yes, Marc Meakin really just wrote:I don't have to post links to facts when I have lived here for over fifty years.
Oh, well that's that argument settled then.

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Re: Who are you voting for in the General Election 2015? (Poll)

Post by Marc Meakin » Sun May 10, 2015 9:31 pm

I'm Glad you agree Graeme.
Oh , and I've lived in East Kent for four years.
Oh and your quoting from the Torygraph is laughable BTW
I don't think your statistics account for illegal Immigrants.
Yes they do exist.
UKIP are popular in areas with high numbers of illegal immigrants like Thanet, Clacton and Grimsby to name but three.
You will just have to take my word for it.
Certain facts get suppressed.
For example, the anti austerity protests in London wasn't on the BBC news Website for hours, yesterday.
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Re: Who are you voting for in the General Election 2015? (Poll)

Post by Graeme Cole » Sun May 10, 2015 9:47 pm

Marc Meakin wrote:Oh and your quoting from the Torygraph is laughable BTW
Fair enough, read it here instead. Are you saying the maps are incorrect?
Marc Meakin wrote:UKIP are popular in areas with high numbers of illegal immigrants like Thanet, Clacton and Grimsby to name but three.
You will just have to take my word for it.
Certain facts get suppressed.
This is starting to sound very tinfoil-hat. Suppressed by whom? Are we to believe that there are unmanageable hordes of illegal immigrants in certain areas which nobody reports on because of some conspiracy between all the news organisations to suppress this information? Why would they do that?

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Re: Who are you voting for in the General Election 2015? (Poll)

Post by Marc Meakin » Sun May 10, 2015 10:06 pm

Well I am merely illustrating that facts based on statistics are only as good as their collation methods
The census is at best a photo shopped snapshop of the time. I myself have been a census taker and you have to rely on the honesty of the public.
I would like to know, by the by how many potential voters at the general election couldn't or didn't vote because of financial reasons I.e.so creditors couldn't chase them.
I appreciate you can refute all I have said as I have no facts, just first hand knowledge from living close to the gutter
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Re: Who are you voting for in the General Election 2015? (Poll)

Post by Marc Meakin » Mon May 11, 2015 9:34 am

I have notice the people banging on about PR,AV and STV, have piped down. Especially when the realise that UKIP would have around 40 MPs.
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Re: Who are you voting for in the General Election 2015? (Poll)

Post by Innis Carson » Mon May 11, 2015 9:38 am

Marc Meakin wrote:I have notice the people banging on about PR,AV and STV, have piped down. Especially when the realise that UKIP would have around 40 MPs.
Really? I've been hearing more talk of it than ever. And rightly so.

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Re: Who are you voting for in the General Election 2015? (Poll)

Post by Gavin Chipper » Mon May 11, 2015 9:39 am

Marc Meakin wrote:I have notice the people banging on about PR,AV and STV, have piped down. Especially when the realise that UKIP would have around 40 MPs.
Not at all. I'm all for proportional representation. And I think the latest result just underlines how undemocratic our system is.

Read this.

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Re: Who are you voting for in the General Election 2015? (Poll)

Post by Clive Brooker » Mon May 11, 2015 10:56 am

Gavin Chipper wrote:I'm all for proportional representation. And I think the latest result just underlines how undemocratic our system is.

Read this.
That's all very fine, but I think this election has been a disaster for proponents of electoral reform.

A few weeks ago there was an article in the Independent (I think) quoting a poll showing that over 60% now support electoral reform. That sounded encouraging, but seemed to be a lot of "if FPTP can't deliver a proper government any more we need something that can" thinking showing through. Now we have FPTP miraculously delivering a clear, strong government from the jaws of chaos. What other system could've done that! Praise FPTP!

Did anyone listen to Francis Maude answering the question "Is it fair that UKIP received nearly 4 million votes yesterday but only 1 seat?" on Question Time on Friday? He didn't say anything unfamiliar, but I was astonished how many irrelevancies, misrepresentations and downright lies he could pack into a couple of minutes. So much so that I felt obliged to make a transcript:
I think if a UKIP representative had been here, I think the UKIP person would've said "No, it wasn't fair", because parties who don't do well under a particular system always think it's fundamentally unfair. I think there's a fundamental fairness about a system where the candidate who wins most votes in a constituency wins; that seems to me a reasonably fair way to operate. Is there any perfectly fair way of running an electoral system? No. There's a fundamental unfairness in our system in that the boundaries do not reflect anything like equality in terms of numbers so you need many more voters to elect a Conservative MP that a Labour MP, and we had an opportunity to change that which sadly didn't get through the House of Commons because the coalition failed to retain its solidarity at that point which is a delicate way of putting it, and that's capable of being remedied. Is there any perfect fairness? No. But actually, y'know, I think when parties moan about the system when they fail to win an seat in an election, my sympathy gets a bit stretched. It isn't Parliament that stopped there being a change to the electoral system; even a minor change (AV) got overwhelmingly rejected 3 to 1 by the British public. It wasn't the House of Commons that stopped that stopped that happening.
No applause. And he didn't even address the question. And there are perfectly fair systems. MTF.

(That means "more to follow", not "multi-tier fuckup").

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Re: Who are you voting for in the General Election 2015? (Poll)

Post by Ian Volante » Mon May 11, 2015 12:18 pm

Marc Meakin wrote: I don't think your statistics account for illegal Immigrants.
Yes they do exist.
UKIP are popular in areas with high numbers of illegal immigrants like Thanet, Clacton and Grimsby to name but three.
You will just have to take my word for it.
That's fine then, but earlier you were blaming the Eastern Europeans, but since they're coming in from the EU, they can't be illegal. So who are these naughty people then? Moldovans here to play tennis and not work? Displaced east Ukrainians?
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Re: Who are you voting for in the General Election 2015? (Poll)

Post by Jennifer Steadman » Mon May 11, 2015 1:10 pm

Innis Carson wrote:
Marc Meakin wrote:I have notice the people banging on about PR,AV and STV, have piped down. Especially when the realise that UKIP would have around 40 MPs.
Really? I've been hearing more talk of it than ever. And rightly so.
Aye, maybe it's primarily an age group thing though? Found that most people I know who are calling for PR to be implemented would rather have a democratic voting system with UKIP more accurately represented in Parliament (FWIW I believe it would be over 80 MPs for them under PR with the current # of votes) than keeping FPTP and having only one UKIP MP.

Totally agree with Clive that this result has shelved our hopes of PR being implemented any time soon :( Maude complaining about boundary reform being because "the coalition failed to retain its solidarity" is quite funny - the reason the Lib Dems blocked that was because the Tories blocked their proposals for House of Lords reform, AFAIK.
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Re: Who are you voting for in the General Election 2015? (Poll)

Post by Gavin Chipper » Mon May 11, 2015 1:52 pm

Clive Brooker wrote:
Gavin Chipper wrote:I'm all for proportional representation. And I think the latest result just underlines how undemocratic our system is.

Read this.
That's all very fine, but I think this election has been a disaster for proponents of electoral reform.

A few weeks ago there was an article in the Independent (I think) quoting a poll showing that over 60% now support electoral reform. That sounded encouraging, but seemed to be a lot of "if FPTP can't deliver a proper government any more we need something that can" thinking showing through. Now we have FPTP miraculously delivering a clear, strong government from the jaws of chaos. What other system could've done that! Praise FPTP!

Did anyone listen to Francis Maude answering the question "Is it fair that UKIP received nearly 4 million votes yesterday but only 1 seat?" on Question Time on Friday? He didn't say anything unfamiliar, but I was astonished how many irrelevancies, misrepresentations and downright lies he could pack into a couple of minutes. So much so that I felt obliged to make a transcript:
I think if a UKIP representative had been here, I think the UKIP person would've said "No, it wasn't fair", because parties who don't do well under a particular system always think it's fundamentally unfair. I think there's a fundamental fairness about a system where the candidate who wins most votes in a constituency wins; that seems to me a reasonably fair way to operate. Is there any perfectly fair way of running an electoral system? No. There's a fundamental unfairness in our system in that the boundaries do not reflect anything like equality in terms of numbers so you need many more voters to elect a Conservative MP that a Labour MP, and we had an opportunity to change that which sadly didn't get through the House of Commons because the coalition failed to retain its solidarity at that point which is a delicate way of putting it, and that's capable of being remedied. Is there any perfect fairness? No. But actually, y'know, I think when parties moan about the system when they fail to win an seat in an election, my sympathy gets a bit stretched. It isn't Parliament that stopped there being a change to the electoral system; even a minor change (AV) got overwhelmingly rejected 3 to 1 by the British public. It wasn't the House of Commons that stopped that stopped that happening.
No applause. And he didn't even address the question. And there are perfectly fair systems. MTF.

(That means "more to follow", not "multi-tier fuckup").
I did watch that and it was typical Tory bullshit. I was at a hustings a few weeks ago and the Tory candidate was saying some nonsense about how PR would mean party lists and we wouldn't be electing MPs any more - it would just be down to the parties which of their candidates got elected. I put him in his place though.

When you say there are perfectly fair systems, did you have any particular ones in mind? All electoral systems have certain problems. Most PR proponents talk about STV but then you might have constituencies electing five or six MPs and being five times the size as they are now. That would mean quite a big ballot paper, even if you don't have to actually rank every candidate. Also, it only gives a weak level of proportionality because there would still be quite a high threshold to get a seat (like 1/6 of the vote in a six-seat constituency rather than the 1/650 you'd get with full national proportionality).

The thing about party lists is that you can achieve full national proportionality, but the cost is that you elect parties rather than candidates, and I think it's unacceptable. We have the worst of both worlds in the European elections with party lists, and arbitrary constituencies.

To get full candidate-based national-level proportional representation, it would require the possibility of voting for any candidate in the country. This can be done, but it involves certain compromises, although I still think it is the best option. MTF!

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Re: Who are you voting for in the General Election 2015? (Poll)

Post by Gavin Chipper » Mon May 11, 2015 2:10 pm

This is how I would do it:

Candidates nominate a constituency to stand in as they do now. And ballot papers look largely the same as they do now. A voter can simply vote for one of the candidates in their constituency as they do now. This keeps it nice and simple for those who want or need it to be simple. Alternatively they can vote for any candidate standing in the country by writing in their name at the bottom of the ballot paper. Maybe they could also have a code. (There would be a list of all national candidates and their codes in the polling booths, in alphabetical order and by constituency.)

The election would essentially be an STV election but with the country as one super-constituency. But voters cannot be expected to rank all the candidates standing nationally. So instead of this, all candidates would have their own pre-declared ranking list, and voters would take on the list of the candidate they have voted for. Alternatively they can tick a box to say they don't want their vote to be transferred. But also they would have the option to do their own ranking, but it would be limited to the candidates on their ballot paper standing locally (this enables them to keep their vote local for those that want a local representative).

So the candidates' ranking lists - there would be limits placed on these. Every candidate in a particular party would be equally ranked, and a candidate standing for a particular party would always have the other candidates from their own party top. Independents would be treated as separate entities. So a Party A candidate's list might look like this:

1. All other candidates from Party A
2. All candidates from Party B
3. An independent
4. Another independent
5. All the candidates from Party C

An independent candidate's list might look like this:

1. An independent candidate
2. Another independent candidate
3. Yet another independent candidate
4. All the candidates from Party A

The candidates wouldn't have to rank everyone - they could stop their lists at any point. And once their vote had been diluted into an entire party, anything below the party on their list is unlikely to benefit from it. So unless Party A is a very unpopular candidate, the Party A candidate's list might as well be:

1. All other candidates from Party A

It might seem undemocratic to have a candidate's list thrust upon you rather than making your own. But it's not really. Firstly, without it, we wouldn't be able to have such a sophisticated level of proportional representation. But also, the lists would be pre-declared so you can use this information to decide who to vote for. Also, you are delegating your democratic power to them in Parliament, so this is just an extension of that. If you agree with their policies, you are likely to agree with the candidates they agree with. Also, you can tick the box to say you don't want your vote to be transferred, or indeed do your own ranking of the local candidates. I think this is the best compromise.

Also the reason party candidates need to be ranked equally in candidates' lists is that it stops parties from having undue influence in terms of who gets elected from their party or indeed from other parties.

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Re: Who are you voting for in the General Election 2015? (Poll)

Post by Clive Brooker » Mon May 11, 2015 3:06 pm

Gavin Chipper wrote:When you say there are perfectly fair systems, did you have any particular ones in mind? All electoral systems have certain problems.
Not suggesting your're predictable, but I kinda knew you'd ask that.

I see you've beaten me to the draw, but here goes anyway.

Have you come across this? To a layman like myself it seems to answer many of the criticisms levelled at other systems.

Essentially you'd have FPTP constituencies double the size of the existing ones, giving 300 or so members (if we're talking about the UK) of the traditional kind. Votes for the winner in excess of the number needed for an absolute majority, along with those for losing candidates which would otherwise be wasted, are converted into points, which are then pooled with similar points coming from a group of neighbouring constituencies. If a seat is won without an absolute majority, the winning party has negative points added to its pool. Seats are awarded to parties pooling points equivalent to an absolute majority in an individual constituency. These seats are taken by the best-performing defeated candidates in the FPTP elections, determined in a completely objective way. The process is repeated in higher groupings of regions until a national level is reached where the final seat allocation is sorted out.

Sorry if this is old hat, or if you already know why it's crap!

I tried a simulation using the results of the Welsh Assembly elections in 2011 (the constituency-based part only) because it is small-scale, it was easy to pair up constituencies and the regions were already defined. And I'm familiar with the geography. The numbers came out right, but I haven't tried to match the regional and national seats to individuals yet.

On the plus side, the system retains the constituency culture, it retains the traditional method of voting for one candidate only with a cross, it's easy to comprehend why the final results will be proportional (in contrast to STV), and there is absolutely no requirement for party lists. I can easily imagine constituency-type roles developing for MPs elected after the initial FPTP phase.

If a region elects most or all its FPTP seats to one party, and they're mostly won without an absolute majority, the system is unlikely to be able to fully restore proportionality at the first regional level. For some reason the author doesn't seem to want residual negative points to be passed to higher levels, something I don't yet fully comprehend.

On the negative side, it might be felt that bigger constituencies will work against independents. Promoting two candidates per party in each constituency could give the campaign teams a headache as they'd ideally want to optimise the vote split between them, and for the same reason I can imagine some voters not being quite sure what they're expected to do.

Do you think there should be a generalised electoral reform thread? I'm quite happy for you to have your name beside it.

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Re: Who are you voting for in the General Election 2015? (Poll)

Post by Ian Volante » Mon May 11, 2015 3:11 pm

I quite like the Scottish Parliamentary system - it's a FPTP system locally, but then numbers of seats are allocated by vote share in regions to make up for a proportional balance. Eg, the Tories last time got very few FPTP wins, but their seat numbers were bumped up accordingly. Conversely, the Lib Dems got quite a few FPTP but gain very few seats off the regional lists as their vote share wasn't very high, and the initial wins accounted for their proportion already.

Not ideal, and it makes it harder to get rid of people Portillo-style, but reasonably effective and not too complex. [This sort of goes along with what Clive's just said above]

As another idea, I love the Aussie system, mainly because it looks fiendish.
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Re: Who are you voting for in the General Election 2015? (Poll)

Post by Marc Meakin » Mon May 11, 2015 3:14 pm

Ian

I don't know these illegal immigrants personally but I do know that at least 3 farms from East Kent that were prosecuted for using illegal immigrant fruit pickers. Not from the EU I might add.
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Re: Who are you voting for in the General Election 2015? (Poll)

Post by Marc Meakin » Mon May 11, 2015 3:15 pm

Spend a day in Dover, it will open your eyes.
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Re: Who are you voting for in the General Election 2015? (Poll)

Post by Gavin Chipper » Mon May 11, 2015 6:21 pm

Clive Brooker wrote:
Gavin Chipper wrote:When you say there are perfectly fair systems, did you have any particular ones in mind? All electoral systems have certain problems.
Not suggesting your're predictable, but I kinda knew you'd ask that.

I see you've beaten me to the draw, but here goes anyway.

Have you come across this? To a layman like myself it seems to answer many of the criticisms levelled at other systems.

Essentially you'd have FPTP constituencies double the size of the existing ones, giving 300 or so members (if we're talking about the UK) of the traditional kind. Votes for the winner in excess of the number needed for an absolute majority, along with those for losing candidates which would otherwise be wasted, are converted into points, which are then pooled with similar points coming from a group of neighbouring constituencies. If a seat is won without an absolute majority, the winning party has negative points added to its pool. Seats are awarded to parties pooling points equivalent to an absolute majority in an individual constituency. These seats are taken by the best-performing defeated candidates in the FPTP elections, determined in a completely objective way. The process is repeated in higher groupings of regions until a national level is reached where the final seat allocation is sorted out.

Sorry if this is old hat, or if you already know why it's crap!

I tried a simulation using the results of the Welsh Assembly elections in 2011 (the constituency-based part only) because it is small-scale, it was easy to pair up constituencies and the regions were already defined. And I'm familiar with the geography. The numbers came out right, but I haven't tried to match the regional and national seats to individuals yet.

On the plus side, the system retains the constituency culture, it retains the traditional method of voting for one candidate only with a cross, it's easy to comprehend why the final results will be proportional (in contrast to STV), and there is absolutely no requirement for party lists. I can easily imagine constituency-type roles developing for MPs elected after the initial FPTP phase.

If a region elects most or all its FPTP seats to one party, and they're mostly won without an absolute majority, the system is unlikely to be able to fully restore proportionality at the first regional level. For some reason the author doesn't seem to want residual negative points to be passed to higher levels, something I don't yet fully comprehend.

On the negative side, it might be felt that bigger constituencies will work against independents. Promoting two candidates per party in each constituency could give the campaign teams a headache as they'd ideally want to optimise the vote split between them, and for the same reason I can imagine some voters not being quite sure what they're expected to do.

Do you think there should be a generalised electoral reform thread? I'm quite happy for you to have your name beside it.
I had a skim through it, and it seems quite similar to mixed-member proportional representation, which exists in a few places (Ian was saying they have that in Scotland). Except that this system doesn't work using party lists, which is obviously a bonus.

One problem is that it still works uses FPTP, which is an awful system irrespective of it's lack of proportionality (remember the AV debate). I had a conversation with a Liberal Democrat on election count night and he was talking about mixed-member systems using FPTP for half the seats, and I had to remind him that FPTP is rubbish from two separate angles - the lack of proportionality, which is supposed to be fixed by mixed-member, but also where you want a single winner, it's still about the worst system possible.

But also you mentioned independents. What's supposed to happen with them? If I vote for an independent and they don't get elected, is my vote just wasted? The system I described has better national proportionality because a single candidate from anywhere in the country, whether an independent or from a party, is guaranteed to be elected if 1/650 of the population, however they are distributed, really want it to happen.

It also seems odd that the candidates that fail to get elected in the FPTP part but then get elected anyway have a wider area of responsibility, making them look more important, even though they basically got in off the reserve list. It also seems more complicated than the system I described. I have to admit I don't really like it, although anything is better than what we have now.

As for a thread, we could have one. Maybe with a poll as well. Shall I do it?

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Re: Who are you voting for in the General Election 2015? (Poll)

Post by Clive Brooker » Mon May 11, 2015 8:14 pm

Gavin Chipper wrote:I had a skim through it, and it seems quite similar to mixed-member proportional representation, which exists in a few places (Ian was saying they have that in Scotland). Except that this system doesn't work using party lists, which is obviously a bonus.

One problem is that it still works uses FPTP, which is an awful system irrespective of it's lack of proportionality (remember the AV debate). I had a conversation with a Liberal Democrat on election count night and he was talking about mixed-member systems using FPTP for half the seats, and I had to remind him that FPTP is rubbish from two separate angles - the lack of proportionality, which is supposed to be fixed by mixed-member, but also where you want a single winner, it's still about the worst system possible.

But also you mentioned independents. What's supposed to happen with them? If I vote for an independent and they don't get elected, is my vote just wasted? The system I described has better national proportionality because a single candidate from anywhere in the country, whether an independent or from a party, is guaranteed to be elected if 1/650 of the population, however they are distributed, really want it to happen.

It also seems odd that the candidates that fail to get elected in the FPTP part but then get elected anyway have a wider area of responsibility, making them look more important, even though they basically got in off the reserve list. It also seems more complicated than the system I described. I have to admit I don't really like it, although anything is better than what we have now.

As for a thread, we could have one. Maybe with a poll as well. Shall I do it?
I think we may as well stay where we are for now. If the subject kicks off in the future it would be good to have a thread that mentions electoral reform in the title.

Is the system you're advocating your own invention? I'll call it "your system" for now.

Am I right that your system could greatly favour rabble-rousing independents who have a national profile, provided they can mobilise the write-in facility? At the moment independents have a tough time because they have to get all their votes in one constituency and they have to achieve a relative majority against all the established parties. The Canadian proposal gives independents the same task that they currently have, but in a larger constituency. Will that be harder? I think it might be, but I'm not seeing it as a deal-breaker.

Being pragmatic, a system founded on FPTP, as the Scottish and Welsh Additional Member Systems are, is much more likely to find acceptance in this country. The Canadian proposal really only uses FPTP as a means of starting the game, so it's not that big a deal. Anyone elected during that phase is going to be elected at some point however the first phase winners are selected.

As I said, I haven't tried to simulate the bit where the first round "losers" pick up seats in the later phases. Ultimately, they get these seats because of what they achieved in the first round, and I'm hoping it will look sensible. I would expect them to maintain a strong local presence, perhaps forming partnerships with the constituency MPs. That should keep constituency MPs up to their work as they won't want to be outshone. I agree that the apparent inversion of status is an area of concern, but I think mixed-member hybrid systems have a bigger problem, and they seem popular enough. In the Canadian proposal all elected MPs get there because they received votes directed at them personally.

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Re: Who are you voting for in the General Election 2015? (Poll)

Post by Steven M. McCann » Mon May 11, 2015 9:31 pm

Newsnight tonight, is asking how did the opinion polls get the result so wrong.

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Re: Who are you voting for in the General Election 2015? (Poll)

Post by Marc Meakin » Mon May 11, 2015 10:06 pm

Newsflash: people lie
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Re: Who are you voting for in the General Election 2015? (Poll)

Post by Gavin Chipper » Mon May 11, 2015 10:07 pm

Clive Brooker wrote:Is the system you're advocating your own invention? I'll call it "your system" for now.
Not entirely. I wanted a system that offered national proportionality but was candidate-based and considered a couple of things, but I encountered this, and it's heavily based on it.
Am I right that your system could greatly favour rabble-rousing independents who have a national profile, provided they can mobilise the write-in facility? At the moment independents have a tough time because they have to get all their votes in one constituency and they have to achieve a relative majority against all the established parties. The Canadian proposal gives independents the same task that they currently have, but in a larger constituency. Will that be harder? I think it might be, but I'm not seeing it as a deal-breaker.
My system would certainly favour independents who can get a national profile, but with the local candidates being printed on ballot papers anyway, getting enough local support could still see them elected. I think the Canadian proposal would make it harder for independents than what we have now. Firstly because constituencies are twice the size, and secondly because voters will see that their votes will be wasted if they are not elected. In our current system, your vote gets wasted if your candidate doesn't get elected anyway, but the Canadian system is worse in that your vote only gets wasted if you vote for an independent. If you vote for a party candidate then it's essentially transferred into the party. So people would be even less inclined to vote for an independent. Under my proposal, your vote can be transferred whoever you vote for.

But also, I think for the limited proportionality offered by the Canadian system, it's not worth the complexity. You might as well go for open-list proportional representation as they have in Finland, for example. If you go to the second example on this page, you pick a candidate from your preferred party, and then if they aren't elected it would be transferred within the party. If x candidates are to be elected from a party, it would be the x with the most votes from voters, so the party do not set the list. Obviously this would not offer national-level proportionality, and people who vote for independents still risk having their vote wasted, but I think it's better than the Canadian proposal based on simplicity.

Edit - Of course that open-list ballot could be used for straightforward STV. It's more complex in that voters rank candidates, but it offers more flexibility and they can rank an independent top and still have their vote transferred.
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Re: Who are you voting for in the General Election 2015? (Poll)

Post by Marc Meakin » Mon May 11, 2015 10:11 pm

i wish one of you good people on here could post a poll on the EU Referendum
I would, but as Charlie hasn't given me the common decency of a reply to my request, i still cannot start any topics.
Maybe there should be a referendum on here for that :D
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Re: Who are you voting for in the General Election 2015? (Poll)

Post by Gavin Chipper » Mon May 11, 2015 10:24 pm

That Canadian proposal is way too complicated by the way. Far simpler would be to describe it as follows:

You have 325 constituencies (or whatever half the total is), and hold FPTP elections in each, with parties fielding up to two candidates per constituency. Voters vote for individual candidates, but the candidate with the most votes from the party with the most votes wins the seat in the constituency. Or if an independent beats all the parties' totals, they are elected.

Parties are then listed in terms of the total number of votes they have received nationally and the remaining seats are allocated using either the D'Hondt or Sainte-Laguë party list system (taking into account seats already won), with the party-list order simply being based on the total number of votes received by each party candidate.

I think this is pretty much equivalent to what has been described (and where it's different it's probably better), and it is horrific for independents.

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Re: Who are you voting for in the General Election 2015? (Poll)

Post by Clive Brooker » Tue May 12, 2015 9:04 am

I don't think it's fair to describe the Canadian proposal as offering "limited proportionality. I think any sort of normal voting pattern will give fully proportional results, subject to rounding limitations of course. It's easy enough to construct a situation which will break it, such as one party winning every FPTP seat with 40% of the vote, giving it half the seats on 40% of the vote whatever happens afterwards. In the 2011 Welsh election, Labour pretty much swept the board in South Wales, but usually with around 50%. If I adjust the data a bit so that Labour wins more of its seats narrowly I'll be able to see to what extent the rest of the country can pull things back into balance.

I accept that you can distil the basic principles down to something apparently simpler, as you've described. It's not quite identical, however, in the way seats are allocated to individuals. In the Canadian proposal, votes are kept local as long as possible, potentially helping to maintain the local accountability of members, whereas by simplifying the system to its logical extreme you are throwing votes nationally at the earliest possible point. If I ever get as far as allocating seats to individuals I let you know if it seems to make a meaningful difference.

You'd have to be very much cleverer than me to think that your system is simple. The pre-ranking by candidates - when do they have to decide this? Are party members bound by what the party says? Do you really expect the Conservatives, at some point during the campaign, to publicly declare in what order of preference they wish to rank the opposing parties - and be stuck with it for the rest of the campaign? Whatever you may think, I'm sure the pre-ranking will be perceived as them deciding, not us.

Asking questions like "do you want your vote to be transferable" will be baffling to most.

If you write-in a candidate, can you include him/her in your personal ranking?

I can see why you're doing it, but I think the write-in facility is stoking a volcano. You will, I'm quite sure, open the door to unsavoury loud-mouthed populists who can now attract a national vote. If there are too many of them they'll tend to dilute their own votes, but I would expect a few to become extremely prominent and get elected easily. Another question - presumably you can write-in anyone, a party leader for example? I guess someone in Nick Clegg's position would do well, and personally I wouldn't have a problem with that. But in general, won't the write-in encourage people around the country to vote for well-known polarising figures in the main parties, thereby making them unaccountable to their local electorate. One man's meat is another's poison - some would certainly see Clegg as such a polarising figure.

Maybe you need to introduce a negative ranking feature - that wouldn't be too complicated, would it?

It's odd that the treatment of independents should be such a divisive issue - I wouldn't have predicted that.

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Re: Who are you voting for in the General Election 2015? (Poll)

Post by Peter Mabey » Tue May 12, 2015 1:34 pm

One problem with independents is that many are single-issue candidates, whose support comes from matters of purely local concern. Consequently, any system that reflects national opinions accurately would disadvantage them seriously - but I'm not sure that it would be good for a significant number of such members to be in the Commons.

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Re: Who are you voting for in the General Election 2015? (Poll)

Post by Gavin Chipper » Tue May 12, 2015 7:31 pm

Clive Brooker wrote:I don't think it's fair to describe the Canadian proposal as offering "limited proportionality. I think any sort of normal voting pattern will give fully proportional results, subject to rounding limitations of course. It's easy enough to construct a situation which will break it, such as one party winning every FPTP seat with 40% of the vote, giving it half the seats on 40% of the vote whatever happens afterwards. In the 2011 Welsh election, Labour pretty much swept the board in South Wales, but usually with around 50%. If I adjust the data a bit so that Labour wins more of its seats narrowly I'll be able to see to what extent the rest of the country can pull things back into balance.
I suppose my main reason for saying it has limited proportionality is how it treats independents, and let's not forget also small parties that might only field a handful of candidates.
I accept that you can distil the basic principles down to something apparently simpler, as you've described. It's not quite identical, however, in the way seats are allocated to individuals. In the Canadian proposal, votes are kept local as long as possible, potentially helping to maintain the local accountability of members, whereas by simplifying the system to its logical extreme you are throwing votes nationally at the earliest possible point. If I ever get as far as allocating seats to individuals I let you know if it seems to make a meaningful difference.
Yes, but I think because you have the local MPs in the double-sized constituencies, I don't think it would be a problem to have the other MPs as non-local. In fact, not only do I think it's not a problem, I think it could actually be a good thing. MPs vote on national issues, and I don't see why they all have to be considered local to somewhere. It makes sense to have some with a more national focus. Also the way that system works with increasing sizes of areas just to keep a geographical slant on things seems a bit contrived and ultimately pointless.
You'd have to be very much cleverer than me to think that your system is simple. The pre-ranking by candidates - when do they have to decide this? Are party members bound by what the party says? Do you really expect the Conservatives, at some point during the campaign, to publicly declare in what order of preference they wish to rank the opposing parties - and be stuck with it for the rest of the campaign? Whatever you may think, I'm sure the pre-ranking will be perceived as them deciding, not us.
I think there are far simpler systems than mine, but what I want is a system that is as simple as possible that also allows national proportionality and for independents to be fairly included. I could make it simpler by removing the ranking of local candidates and the choice to tick non-transferable, but I think they would be big losses. I hadn't decided exactly when the pre-rankings would have to be done, but it would probably be three weeks or so before the election. Also, parties wouldn't have to complete a full ranking of the other parties. Large parties probably wouldn't rank anyone below themselves. If someone votes for a Tory that doesn't get elected then the vote would be transferred into the Tory party and is unlikely to make it out again (it wouldn't get wasted by there being no further ranking). Whereas if someone votes for a very small party then they might get no-one elected, so it would make sense for them to rank other parties/candidates. Party members don't need to be bound by what their party says, but they would still have to automatically have their party ranked top anyway, so any differences would be below that. I suppose it would be up to individual candidates/parties.

As for it being "them deciding", maybe some people will feel that way, but if you vote for a party, it would transfer straight into that party, and people who vote for independents are probably more likely to have an understanding of it. And you can say if you don't want your vote to be transferred. And also many countries have party list systems that are far more in the direction of "them deciding".
Asking questions like "do you want your vote to be transferable" will be baffling to most.
I don't know. It would actually be the opposite question though - by default your vote would be transferable. But people should learn about their own electoral system, and their vote would be valid anyway regardless of whether they tick the box. I could remove the box of course but then you get no choice!
If you write-in a candidate, can you include him/her in your personal ranking?
I had thought not - if you rank then it's only the local candidates, but there's no particular reason why not I suppose other than maybe a slightly more fiddly and complex ballot paper. It's something I'd previously considered though.
I can see why you're doing it, but I think the write-in facility is stoking a volcano. You will, I'm quite sure, open the door to unsavoury loud-mouthed populists who can now attract a national vote. If there are too many of them they'll tend to dilute their own votes, but I would expect a few to become extremely prominent and get elected easily. Another question - presumably you can write-in anyone, a party leader for example? I guess someone in Nick Clegg's position would do well, and personally I wouldn't have a problem with that. But in general, won't the write-in encourage people around the country to vote for well-known polarising figures in the main parties, thereby making them unaccountable to their local electorate. One man's meat is another's poison - some would certainly see Clegg as such a polarising figure.
You'd be able to write in anyone, so yes, party leaders included. People might vote for polarising candidates, but where they are based isn't their only sphere of influence. In the South Thanet constituency, the Tory could still get elected on the basis of local votes, and Farage based on write-ins. I want to get away from the idea that we just have one local MP who is our official MP. There's more to voters than their local needs.
Maybe you need to introduce a negative ranking feature - that wouldn't be too complicated, would it?
I think it would be too complicated and I don't think it would work. A key idea behind proportional representation is that if there are n seats then if 1/n people want a particular candidate, they should get elected. Negative votes would probably break this completely.
It's odd that the treatment of independents should be such a divisive issue - I wouldn't have predicted that.
Peter Mabey wrote:One problem with independents is that many are single-issue candidates, whose support comes from matters of purely local concern. Consequently, any system that reflects national opinions accurately would disadvantage them seriously - but I'm not sure that it would be good for a significant number of such members to be in the Commons.
I would agree that we wouldn't want too many people purely concerned with local issues, but these people are unlikely to get extra votes from around the country because their ideas wouldn't be relevant to anyone else. But many independents do stand on national issues, and there are also small parties that field only a handful of candidates, so these people should be fairly included if we have a national proportional system.

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Re: Who are you voting for in the General Election 2015? (Poll)

Post by Gavin Chipper » Tue May 12, 2015 10:57 pm

Of course, you could combine FPTP with the system I've described. You have 325 constituencies. Everyone votes for one candidate (still with the option of a write-in), and the candidate with the most votes from each constituency (even if some of their votes have come from elsewhere) is elected. Then you use the pre-declared rankings to elect 325 other candidates STV-style. The STV part of the election takes into account candidates already elected, so your vote gets "used up" if you have already voted for a winner in the FPTP section.

I still think this would encourage tactical voting though, as people would still consider the FPTP part of the election important. So I don't like it that much, but if we're having some sort of "mixed-member" system, then I think this is better than the other systems I've encountered.

Edit - I'm not sure this would work as described. I think if we're having 325 local MPs, then it would probably be best to ignore the write-ins at that stage, or people would be upset that someone 300 miles away has decided their local MP. But the STV part of the election would then unleash these votes. Also with one MP per party in each constituency, each party would be fielding a maximum of 325 candidates even though there would be 650 seats. It's unlikely that a party would get more than 50% of the national support, but just in case they did, I think it would be acceptable for them to have a party list just for places 326 and beyond.

With this system, I think it would be safe to do away with my other complications such as ranking the local candidates and ticking a box. It would simply be a case of vote for one - either someone on the list or a write-in. As an overall compromise I don't think this system is insanely bad.

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Re: Who are you voting for in the General Election 2015? (Poll)

Post by Phil Reynolds » Wed May 13, 2015 9:50 pm

Marc Meakin wrote:I myself have been a census taker
Where's Hannibal Lecter when you need him?

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Re: Who are you voting for in the General Election 2015? (Poll)

Post by Marc Meakin » Wed May 13, 2015 11:06 pm

I think I have too much fat and gristle for his liking.
Though I understand he's partial to faggots.
GR MSL GNDT MSS NGVWL SRND NNLYC NNCT

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Re: Who are you voting for in the General Election 2015? (Poll)

Post by Jennifer Steadman » Mon Dec 07, 2015 6:33 pm

Steven M. McCann wrote:Once again great forecasting by the pre-election pollsters! who on earth did they they poll? liars, loonies, toddlers, windup merchants?
How on earth could they get the result so badly wrong?
YouGov have now published their investigation into how/why their polling was wrong. They don't think 'shy Tories' were a factor though.
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