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United Kingdom: The unfortunate ballot

United Kingdom: The unfortunate ballot


Unfortunate. That is the conclusion Tim Weber arrived at after observing the British referendum concerning its electoral law. You can download the German version of the report below.

On May 5th 2011, a national referendum concerned with the electoral vote has taken place in the United Kingdom. The referendum decided whether to replace the current first-past-the-post (FPTP) practice with the alternative vote (AV) method. The turnout was 42 percent; 32,1 percent voted for the introduction of alternative vote, but 67,9 percent chose to preserve the first-past-the-post (FPTP) system. This national referendum has been the second of its kind; in 1975, a referendum decided whether the UK should maintained its membership in the EU. The present referendum was part of the coalition agreement between the Conservative Party and the Liberal Democrats.

The present report is based on newspaper and Internet research as well as on observations conducted during a five day trip to London. The report aims to establish background information, summarise the referendum’s course and outline the impact for direct democracy in Germany.   

Text by Vanessa Eggert



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