This is what the British Parliament would look like if Britain had a proportional electoral system

The headline of the day is indisputable: the Labour's victory in the British election was overwhelmingfacing a historic defeat for the conservatives from to a few hours ago Prime Minister Rishi Sunak. Keir Starmer becomes the new Prime Minister after having guaranteed an absolute majority on Thursday.

In a context where there are no clear majorities and no traditional bipartisanship, the figures produced by this election are surprising: if there is no definitive allocation of seats, Labour will have 412 delegates, compared to 121 for the Conservatives, when the majority stands at 121.326. If, on the other hand, we look at the percentage of votes obtained, the difference is not so striking: the Labour Party obtained 33.8% of the vote (1.6 points more than in the previous election), while the tories They have remained at 23.7% (down a massive 20 points in five years).

In other words, the Conservative defeat is even more pronounced because of the British electoral system, which has worked this way since 1950 and primarily rewards the winner by dividing the country into 650 constituencies of virtually identical population, where only one person can be elected. . So the tories They have not won any seats in Wales or the City of London, and prominent politicians such as former Prime Minister Liz Truss – as well as 11 ministers and members of Sunak's government – ​​have lost their seats in the House of Commons.

Although the debate is not currently on the table in the UK, in an exercise in political fiction we have wondered what the British Parliament would look like if the electoral system distributed its seats in proportion to the votes obtained by each party. The following simulation is the result of applying the d'Hondt rule, the system by which seats are distributed proportionally in Spain and many countries around the world, to the UK results, counting the whole country as a single constituency and without electoral barriers:

What would the British Parliament look like with a proportional electoral system?

Simulation of what the UK Parliament would look like with a single constituency proportional electoral system, without electoral barriers and with independents being considered for a single candidacy

Source: UK Parliament, 2019 Election MPs re-estimated by BBC News, ITV News, Sky News and Press Association

In this graph we also show you the difference between the percentage of votes obtained versus the percentage of seats each party ultimately wins. As you can see, the British electoral system gives Labour two out of three seats, with a third of the vote:

The effect of the electoral system in the United Kingdom

Comparison of the percentage of votes and seats of the main parties in the 2024 UK elections

Source: UK Parliament, 2019 results re-estimated by BBC News, ITV News, Sky News and Press Association

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