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England lags behind Scotland, Wales and N. Ireland

April 3, 2021 10:53 AM
By Bryan Lewis
Originally published by City of Wolverhampton Liberal Democrats

On 6th May there will be local elections but many English councils have become local one-party states: areas where it feels like only one party can win, where parties control nearly all the seats and where scrutiny is a shadow of what it should be.

This has recently been highlighted by allegations of corruption on Liverpool council and it could be just the tip of the iceberg.

Under the First Past the Post system used in English council elections, all votes not cast for the top candidate are ignored. Spread out over a whole council area, one party can get nearly all the seats with fewer than half of the votes. Councils handle £billions in contracts and public services so this is a major threat not just to democracy but to good governance too.

Councils in Northern Ireland and Scotland are elected using a proportional representation system and Wales is making the change too.

If England followed suit it would be a massive power boost for local people ensuring every vote counted and guaranteeing real competition