Voting systems

 

Sir, – To illustrate the patent unfairness of the first-past-the-post system in Britain – as opposed to our more equitable proportional representation method of the single transferable vote – Ronan McGreevy (An Irishman’s Diary, January 14th) writes that in the last British general election, the Scottish National Party (SNP) won 48 seats with just 3.9 per cent of the overall vote, while the Liberal Democrats, which secured 11.5 per cent of the vote, won a mere 11 (not “12”, as stated) seats. Your columnist neglects to mention this salient fact:the SNP contested all 59 constituencies in Scotland, procuring 45 per cent of the popular vote; it did not contest any seats outside Scotland. The Lib Dems, on the other hand, contested no fewer than 611 seats in various constituencies all over Britain. Hence the apparent injustice of it all. – Yours, etc,

PAUL DELANEY,

Dalkey,

Co Dublin.