This chart tells us something very significant. Look at the first two segments. The number of people registered to vote (black) has increased between 2001 and 2015 and the number of non-voters (grey) has decreased. So who are these extra people voting for?
Look at the third and fourth segments (Change m and Change %). There has been only a very small increase in the number of new votes for Labour and Tory (brown) whereas the much bigger share of the increase has gone to other parties (green). In fact, Change % shows us that other parties have increased their vote share by 38%.
You might be able to spot straightaway what the bad news is for our democracy. With the current electoral system, other parties do not get a corresponding increase in the number of seats in parliament. Nearly all new voters have therefore ended up being unrepresented in parliament.
Despite how the politicians, the media and all society’s general do-gooders encouraged stay-at-homes to get out and vote, it’s hard to see what good has been done. Millions have gone to polling booths to support new or alternative parties only to go through the motions of participating in a voting procedure that brought them no measurable benefit.
The only positive is that we can at least identify and count them in the vast numbers of spurned voters and with that evidence step up the case for electoral reform without delay.