More than 50 Exmouth residents signed a petition that is calling for a change in the method used to vote in MPs. The campaign was led by Make Votes Matter. The campaign carried out in the streets was aimed at finding out if people were still supporting the “first past the post” system used in electing MPs, or they want an introduction of a new voting system.
A street stall in the Magnolia Centre was set up as part of the campaign where people were given the opportunity to sign a petition that was calling for a change in the current voting system.
In the current system, the electorate is responsible for voting in an MP that will represent his or her constituency. If a particular party manages to secure more than half of the total constituency, the party can form a government using its strength in the House of Commons.
The petition is recommending a new system that includes a proportional representation format. In this system, the parties will win seats according to the total percentage of the overall votes cast in their favour. The petition will be sent to Sir Hugo Swire, the East Devon MP.
However, appetite for change is in deficit if the 2011 referendum is anything to go by. Over 68% of people voted in favour of the “first past the post.” Sir Hugo says that it is unlikely that there will be another referendum with the country dealing with constitutional issues and Brexit.
A district councillor, Olly Davey, who participated in the campaign, said that many people he talked to saw no point of voting since it did make any difference. He added that people would be forced to resort to tactical voting (voting for parties that don’t reflect the person’s opinion) or not voting at all.