New Voters

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.

 

2001 Chart

Looking at the charts in this section of 5.5.5 & Counting should soon show you that a very similar vote split has emerged in UK politics in the four elections since 2001. Start by taking a look at 2001: 2001 enlarged update Aug 2015 You may want to glance at how similar this is to the charts for 2005, 2010 and 2015.

More figures for 2001 are shown in this table. We have added an extra row to show the combined vote for Labour plus Tory. This reveals that together they attracted the support of only 43% of those entitled to vote. The non-voter group at 40.6% (18 million) nearly equalled the joint vote for our two largest political parties.

Yet neither one of these two parties ever has qualms over claiming the right to govern with an outright majority when they get the better of their rival. Getting the better of your rival in this context has come to mean polling the few more per-cent that boosts the triumphant one to a total of 10.5 to 11 million votes. In this instance, Labour crept back into Westminster to claim their outright majority in 2001 with the support of 10.73 million, less than one in four of the electorate. But we invite you to see how it actually gets worse next time round. If you’re of nervous disposition have something steadying to hand before you look in close detail at the analysis for 2005.