Electoral reform: what you think

Voters opinions are divided.

THE debate on electoral reform may be divided in the House of Commons but opinions are equally split on the streets of East Devon.

The Midweek Herald asked shoppers what they know about electoral reform and whether or not they think change is necessary.

Robin Pottinger, 19, from Honiton, said: “Well, I think it could do with changing - the way elections are held.

“There can be times when they’re getting their votes all spread between Labour and the Conservatives, but most don’t get a large proportion of the vote reflected in their seats - so it is about time it’s changing. It’s not really the fairest way it could be done.”

Pensioner Ivy Mercer said: “Why change something that works? It’s going to cost money to change it. I am quite happy with the way it is.”

Michael Taylor, 60, said: “I think the whole system is as good as anything, but they need to move all the boundaries – more areas should be done differently and split and voters should be moved so we have a mix.

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“I would like to see an experiment on it and see how it would work.”

Jenny Ivory, 52, said: “I agree with that actually. You vote for who you want in your area, but that might not be actually the same in Government.

“I don’t know a lot about it, but I know I should do. I think we need a change. It will be interesting to see how this Government goes.”

Martin King, 56, from Wales, said: “Proportional representation works in Wales. I think proportional representation in elections would be a good thing. People who live in this town should be heard and, with proportional representation, you get a better representation of all the British people.”

Michael Bond, a pensioner from Honiton, said: “I think it is a good idea.

“I know there are various alternative systems, one that gives a more representative vote. You want a system where you still know the MPs and not just choose from a list.”

Most Seaton residents said they did not know much about electoral reform – but still questioned the need for change.

Andrew Otter said: “I don’t know much about it, but I don’t think we need change.

“Maybe, we could change the boundaries and wards as some tend to be small. But, by and large, I don’t think we need change made at all.

“I think people are fairly well represented.”

And Lynda Holdeer feared change could be for the worse.

She said: “Last time they did it, under Margaret Thatcher, they moved all the boundaries so certain parties got more votes.

“I don’t really know if it [reform] would work. I just vote for the party I’m interested in, not the candidate. I always say ‘never waste your vote’.”

But Raynor Henden said she would like the chance to vote for her preferred candidate, not party.

She said: “I’’m torn, because I veer towards Liberal Democrat and I’m for electoral reform.

“If there’s a specific candidate that I like, but I don’t like his party, then this can still be reflected in my vote.”