openDemocracyUK

Our MPs don't represent us: another way of looking at the figures

Alex Parsons
10 May 2010

I've been working on some stats that might be of interest to OurKingdom. Using Guardian Datablog's release of election results I worked out exactly how many voters cast votes for candidates that weren't the winning candidates and how this broke down among the parties. It's not an often used measure of how terrible the voting system is, but I find it to paint a fairly vivid picture of the problems.

What I found was that:
67% of MPs are opposed by a majority of voters in their constituency.
53% of voters walked home away having received an MP they didn't vote for.
Conservative voters are the most likely to have an MP of their preferred party with only 32% cast for non-elected candidates, whilst 82% of Lib Dem votes were cast for candidates that failed to win election.

Unsurprisingly 'other' voters (for lack of time in separating them all out) went 94% to non-elected candidates but these also represented a smaller number of voters than voters for non-elected candidates of the three main parties.

I find the fact that a majority of voters remain without their representation of choice to be especially damning and I think it'd be fairly easy to make the case that as only a minority of votes ended up vested in candidates who will become MPs, there's a democratic legitimacy problem.

My data can be found in a more full form here.

Stop the secrecy: Publish the NHS COVID data deals


To: Matt Hancock, Secretary of State for Health and Social Care

We’re calling on you to immediately release details of the secret NHS data deals struck with private companies, to deliver the NHS COVID-19 datastore.

We, the public, deserve to know exactly how our personal information has been traded in this ‘unprecedented’ deal with US tech giants like Google, and firms linked to Donald Trump (Palantir) and Vote Leave (Faculty AI).

The COVID-19 datastore will hold private, personal information about every single one of us who relies on the NHS. We don’t want our personal data falling into the wrong hands.

And we don’t want private companies – many with poor reputations for protecting privacy – using it for their own commercial purposes, or to undermine the NHS.

The datastore could be an important tool in tackling the pandemic. But for it to be a success, the public has to be able to trust it.

Today, we urgently call on you to publish all the data-sharing agreements, data-impact assessments, and details of how the private companies stand to profit from their involvement.

The NHS is a precious public institution. Any involvement from private companies should be open to public scrutiny and debate. We need more transparency during this pandemic – not less.


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