Sunday, May 15, 2011
Voting across Britain on May 5 resulted in a rejection of changes to the electoral system, but election results in Scotland may herald the end of Britain as we know it.
The referendum on introducing an “Alternative Vote” voting system (much like the preferential voting system in Australia) to replace the current “First Past The Post” system was decisively defeated. With a turnout of only 42%, 67.87% voted against the change.
In council elections held on the same day across England, the Labour party was the biggest winner, achieving a 10% swing to take 37% of the popular vote and pick up 857 new councillors.
Labour’s gains were particularly strong in the north, where its traditional heartland is suffering the brunt of the Conservative Party-dominated government’s austerity drive.
Despite presiding over the austerity measures, the Conservative vote actually increased slightly to 38%. The bulk of Labour's swing came from the Liberal Democrats.
The Liberal Democrats, who are in coalition government with the Conservatives, dropped 9% to 17% overall, and lost 748 local councillors.