From the TUC

Your results

ceil(($fpp/30)*8),
‘alternativeVote’ => ceil(($av/30)*8),
‘partyList’ => ceil(($pl/30)*8),
‘singleTransferableVote’ => ceil(($stv/30)*8),
‘additionalMemberSystem’ => ceil(($avp/30)*8)
);

// zero out negative scores
foreach ($scores as $key => $score) {
if ($score < 0) { $scores[$key] = 0; } } asort($scores); $ordered = array_reverse($scores); $keys = array_keys($ordered); $results = array(); // how many tendencies shall we print? // take the highest, and any others that are within 1 point of the highest // unless the scores are all 0... $highestScore = $ordered[$keys[0]]; if ($highestScore != 0) { $results = array($keys[0]); $i = 1; while ($i < count($ordered)) { $next = $ordered[$keys[$i]]; if ($highestScore - $next <= 1) { array_push($results, $keys[$i]); $i++; } else { break; } } } // if showing more than one result, collapse them //$collapsed = false; //if (count($results) > 1) {
$collapsed = true;
//}

$votingTypes = array(
‘firstPastThePost’ => array(
‘score’ => $scores[‘firstPastThePost’],
‘heading’ => “First Past The Post”,
‘body’ => “

This is our current electoral system for general elections. The country is divided up into roughly equal constituencies and the candidate that receives the most votes in each constituency is elected.

The FPTP system lowers the threshold to win, making for a clearer result in an election and possibly stronger governments, but at the expense of proportionality to voters’ preferences. The fact so many votes are “wasted” may be a significant contributing factor to the current disillusionment with politics in the UK. FPTP perpetuates two party politics, and means the country is divided into a large number of safe seats which are unlikely ever to change hands, and parties focus much more closely on campaigning for the limited number of more marginal swing seats.

A high proportion of swing voters are among the people least interested in politics, polls suggest, and critics say this has driven focus-group politics where gimmicky policies are developed to appeal to this small group at the expense of the interests of core voters and of developing a coherent appeal to the whole country.


),
‘alternativeVote’ => array(
‘score’ => $scores[‘alternativeVote’],
‘heading’ => “Alternative Vote”,
‘body’ => “

As with the current First Past The Post system, the country would be divided into roughly equal constituencies that elect a single MP. But under Alternative Vote (AV), voters put candidates in order of preference.

When the votes are counted, candidates’ first preferences are tallied. If one candidate has more than half the first preferences, they are elected. If not the candidate with the fewest first preferences is eliminated and their second preferences are added to the other candidates’ totals. If necessary this process is repeated until a candidate gets more than half the total vote.

This is the system operated in Australia. One strength is that people no longer need to vote tactically. They can vote for their top choice of party, but do not have to worry that it will be a wasted vote as they can continue to express other preferences. The other strength is that every MP can claim that they have at least some support from over half of those voting.

AV can make an overall election result more proportional by boosting the third party, but less proportional by benefiting the winning party at the expense of the second party. The system favours centre parties that would gain second choices from both right and left, but doesn’t help parties with a low but geographically wide level of support. So in the UK, it could favour the Liberal Democrats and disadvantage the Greens for example.


),
‘partyList’ => array(
‘score’ => $scores[‘partyList’],
‘heading’ => “Party List”,
‘body’ => “

In a party list system, voters vote for the party rather than an individual candidate. Seats are then divided between the parties in proportion to the votes cast. The winning candidates are drawn from lists submitted by the parties before the election.

Israel uses Party List, with a single national constituency, making it easy for very small parties to get elected. In the UK we use a list system for the European elections, but have broad regional constituencies. This introduces an effective threshold that excludes very small parties, but has allowed UKIP, the Greens and now the BNP to get elected.

Party list systems produce the most proportional result. But a possible weakness is that they centralise the selection of candidates. To get elected a candidate needs to be high on their party list, rather than make an appeal direct to the electorate. Once elected, representatives need to keep in with their party machines rather than with the voters who chose them.


),
‘singleTransferableVote’=> array(
‘score’ => $scores[‘singleTransferableVote’],
‘heading’ => “Single Transferable Vote”,
‘body’ => “

This system is based on big constituencies that elect more than one candidate. Voters order their candidates in preference, and can therefore choose between candidates from the same party. Votes are counted by initially allocating an elector’s vote to their most preferred candidate. After this candidate has either been either elected or eliminated, surplus or unused votes are transferred according to voters’ subsequent preferences.

Supporters of STV say that it produces reasonably proportional results, allows voters to choose between candidates of the same party and has an effective threshold that discourages small parties.

Critics argue that multi-member seats undermine the traditional UK relationship between a constituent and an MP. It can also be divisive within parties by encouraging candidates to campaign against other candidates from the same party, to ensure that they are the winning candidate. The counting system is complex and won’t be understood by many people. To be genuinely proportional it needs larger numbers of votes, which in more sparsely populated parts of the country would make for very large constituencies.


),
‘additionalMemberSystem’=> array(
‘score’ => $scores[‘additionalMemberSystem’],
‘heading’ => “Additional Member System (AV+)”,
‘body’ => “

AV+ is the hybrid system recommended for the UK by the Jenkins Commission. The Commission proposed single member constituencies elected by Alternative Vote (factoring in voters’ second and third choices) on slightly bigger boundaries that we now have. These would be topped up by additional members (20% of the total), chosen from Party Lists to make the overall result more proportional.

Voters would have two parts to their ballot paper. They would express preferences for their constituency MP and then have a single vote they could give either to a party or an individual candidate.

It is probably true to say that most UK supporters of reform recognise that this is the proportional system most likely to find favour. This is because it maintains the traditional constituency link which is thought to be highly valued by voters, while allowing the House of Commons to more accurately reflect the level of support for parties.

But AV+ also has its opponents. It introduces two types of MP, those with constituency duties and those without. And it is less proportional than party list systems, although this does mean it guards against some of the criticisms directed at purely proportional systems.


)
);

foreach ($votingTypes as $key => $type) {
$boxname = $key.”Box”;
$$boxname = ‘

‘;
if ($collapsed) {
$$boxname .= ‘

click to display

‘.$type[‘heading’].’

‘;
} else {
$$boxname .= ‘

‘.$type[‘heading’].’

‘;
}
$$boxname .= ‘

‘;
}

$introText = “”;

if ($highestScore > 5) {
$introText = ‘We have detected that you’d have a strong preference for:’;
} else if ($highestScore > 3) {
$introText = ‘We have detected that you’d have a preference for:’;
} else {
$introText = ‘We have detected that you don\’t seem to have a preference for any of the voting systems.’;
}

?>

$score) {
echo ‘

‘;
for ($i = 1; $i <= 9; $i++) { $classes = ''; if ($score > 0 && $score >= $i) {
if (!($score >= ($i+1))) {
$classes = ‘on rightend’;
} else {
$classes = ‘on’;
}
}
if ($i == 1) {
$classes .= ‘ axis’;
}
echo ‘

‘ . “\n”;
}
echo ‘

‘;
echo ‘

‘;
}
?>

       ‘.$votingTypes[$key][‘heading’].’

 

Of course, a simple web quiz like this falls into the “only a bit of fun” category, so we’re not making any warranty on accuracy or completeness. And importantly it only reflects the system that matches your own preference, not the one that would be best suited to everyone in the UK – to work that out, we’d need a better voting system!

What next?

Read more about all the systems you’ve been voting on here, and the background to the voting reform debate in the ToUChstone Extra report “Getting it in proportion”, and let us know your own thoughts on how you want to vote at www.touchstoneblog.org.uk/voting

Want to tell your friends about your choice? Use one of our buttons to show your result on your blog or profile.