A progressive majority for change

All three parties got a bloody nose in the 2010 general election. The public have voted for a progressive majority and want change to the electoral system.

The public have given Britain’s main political parties a bloody nose. Neither David Cameron, Gordon Brown, nor Nick Clegg had a good night. The mainstream media were also taught a lesson about the “presidentialisation” of British politics.

The public have made it abundantly clear that now is a time for cooperation and coalition. They have also given their support to a progressive majority calling for a change to electoral reform.

Last night’s results are still coming in but we can start to piece together some of the pieces:

• the Tories are the largest party but are likely to be 20 seats short of an overall majority;

• the Tories have won fewer seats than in 1992, 1987, 1983, 1979, 1970, 1959, and 1955;

• there are three progressive votes for every two conservative votes – the combined Labour and Liberal Democrat vote is currently 14.6 million compared to 10.2 million for the Tories;

• if the exit polls are correct, Labour and the Liberal Democrats will have more seats together than the Conservative party;

• the “Other” parties make up 5 per cent of the vote and 26 seats, only eight of which (the DUP representation) are natural allies of the Conservative party;

• the electoral system has given the Liberal Democrats 8 per cent of seats from 22.3 per cent of the vote while Labour and Conservative party have been over-represented; and

• the variable swing shows that local campaigns matter more than personalities and the national picture – the leaders’ debates therefore appear to be less important than previously thought.

Online civil society group, 38 Degrees, are polling their members this morning to ask, “What should we do next?” A clear majority of the 1,000+ people who have voted favour fixing the electoral system as a priority. Meanwhile, Power 2010 have launched a petition calling for an end to “broken elections”.

Nick Clegg has said that “our electoral system is broken” but called for David Cameron to “prove that [the Conservative party] is capable of seeking to govern in the national interest”. Unless David Cameron is willing to accept electoral reform, he will not meet that challenge.

UPDATE 11.17:

Next Left have just posted saying that Nick Clegg’s speech “suggests a lack of belief in the arguments for a pluralist, proportional representation political system of which they have claimed to be the primary public advocates.”

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16 Responses to “A progressive majority for change”

  1. Matthew McGregor

    Good analysis from @leftfootforward on the results and where we stand http://bit.ly/8Xfur1

  2. Anon E Mouse

    Matthew McGregor – Where we stand is Brown just lost Labour the election.

    Will – IT IS OVER!!!! Get real….

    (It was nice to see your dad do well dude)

  3. Billy Blofeld

    “They have also given their support to a progressive majority calling for a change to electoral reform.”

    ….. not really. Both the Lib Dems and the Tories stood on a “change” ticket. According to the seats declared so far, that means 346 seats have a change mandate, compared to Labour’s continuity mandate of 251.

    … goodbye Labour.

  4. Simon Rosenberg

    #ge2010. @wjdstraw at Left Foot Forward has good roundup on what happened last night in the UK http://bit.ly/8Xfur1.

  5. Josh

    Oh bite your tongue you sanctimonious twerp. If you believe that every Labour voter is as ‘progressive’ as you believe then you are an even greater moron than first impressions imply. Get out of the rarified world in which you live and visit a pub in Doncaster. The majority here are Labour voters, and have views on homosexuals that would make Ayatollah Khomeini blush. These people are socially conservative in the mould of the Right wing of Old Labour e.g. Callaghan. They support the monarchy, the army and the Church. If you departed from that sanctimonious bubble of Westminster, you’d realise that. Do not make the mistake of assuming every Labour voter shares a Guardianista view of the world

  6. Jill Pikey

    Will Straw of Progress UK has a good writeup of the UK elex http://www.leftfootforward.org/2010/05/a-progressive-majority-for-change/

  7. Tyler

    Sorry, did I miss something? Was there a party called “progressives” on the ballot paper?

    I think not. Labour have lost. No other way to put it.

  8. ianschuler

    [email protected] at Left Foot Forward has good roundup on what happened last night in UK's #ge2010 http://bit.ly/8Xfur1 (via @SimonWDC)

  9. Lady J

    Why is the live chat closed to the public.

  10. Lady J

    Ignore what the Trolls say. It will be a Lib-Dem Coalition. Nick Clegg has to give the impression that gave the Tories a chance but the right wing of the Tories will never allow electoral reform. It will be a lib-dem coalition.

  11. Liberal avenger

    All these tory trolls don’t sound like they have “won” does it. Perhaps not having a majority has something to do with that.

    Welcome to the world, where we are all minorities…

  12. Liberator

    I’m a LibDem voter and this talk of a progressive majority doesn’t strike a chord with me. The Labour party is far too authoritarian for a liberal. Of course the more social democratic tendency in the party (which is very large) might think differently. But I for one object to being characterised as some long lost centre-left cousin who would naturally gravitate to Labour when the Tories appear on the horizon. It just ain’t a one dimensional left vs right world; the liberal/authoritarian axis is equally or more important than the left/right one to many LibDems.

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