Electoral reform

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Tim Flinn (Letters, 18 May) draws attention to the gross over-representation of the SNP at Westminster, but he is wrong to suggest they would have had no MPs if the German proportional representation system had been used.

If the UK Parliament were elected by the additional member system like the German Federal Parliament, there would be 325 single-member constituencies (half of 650). Of these, about 28 would be in Scotland. It is inconceivable, given the recent results, that the SNP would have won fewer than three of these 28.

So the SNP would automatically qualify for a share of the party list seats. With 4.7 per cent of the UK vote, the SNP would be allocated 30 seats overall. If they had won only three constituencies the other 27 SNP candidates would be taken from the party’s list.

If, on the other hand, the SNP had won 25 of the 28 constituencies (like 56 of 59), only five candidates would be taken from the SNP’s party list.

No-one should blame the SNP for the recent election result – all they did was play by Westminster’s rules.

The losers have had long enough to reform the system – they have only themselves to blame when the bias in the defective voting system works so viciously against them.

To their credit, one of the SNP’s manifesto policies is to introduce STV-PR for future Westminster elections. If the Westminster Parliament voted that through, never again could the SNP win 95 per cent of the seats with only 50 per cent of the votes.

James Gilmour

East Parkside

Edinburgh

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