Scottish Parliament intervenes in Westminster election

For immediate release 29 April 2010

The Scottish Parliament today supported a motion from the Scottish Green MSPs calling for fair votes at Westminster. This vote comes less than a week before the polls open across Scotland and the rest of the UK, and Holyrood has today called for next week's vote to be the last ever to use First Past The Post.

Robin Harper MSP said:

"First past the post is long past its sell-by date, and the Scottish Parliament has today called for it to be binned. The democratic gulf between our votes and the MPs we elect cannot continue, and Holyrood has today issued a clear warning on behalf of the Scottish electorate. Every other vote the Scottish people cast is counted fairly, and as a result they have elected a balanced Parliament which has stood up for them on this issue today.

"The truth is that fairer votes at Holyrood have simply worked, whether the result has been coalition or minority administration. So-called strong governments, elected with minimal support, may suit the old parties who can then ram through their agenda without scrutiny. We have watched these overmighty minorities in action for thirty years: they have delivered unpopular foreign wars, the privatisation of vital public services, and an expenses system designed to be abused.

"Until there is reform at Westminster, the results of UK elections will never reflect the true colours of Scottish opinion. Minority votes deliver undemocratic sweeping majorities, and tonnes of wasted votes pile up each time. The Scottish public will not stand for another distorted election result, and MPs of all parties must now listen. Confidence in Westminster politics is at rock bottom, and if the new House of Commons rejects this change after May 6th they will never be forgiven."

The Green motion approved today, with SNP and Lib Dem support, reads as follows:
That the Scottish Parliament believes that the current UK General Election must be the last to use the discredited First Past The Post electoral system, and that the Single Transferable Vote is the best way to ensure that the public receive the democratic representation they deserve in future.