General election would have ended in hung parliament under PR system with Lib Dems winning 70 seats, research shows

Patrick Grafton-Green

The general election would have resulted in a hung parliament, with the Tories winning just 288 seats and the Lib Dems way up on 70 if the UK had used proportional representation, research shows.

Electoral Reform Society applied the voting system used in the European Parliament, known as the d’Hondt method, to the UK’s election results, where First Past the Post is used.

If such a system had been used, the Conservative Party would have taken 45.6 per cent of seats, far closer to their 43.6 per cent vote share, giving them 77 fewer.

Labour would have won 34.2 per cent of seats, up from 32 per cent, giving the party 14 more.

Seats under FPTP Seats under d'Hondt
Conservative Party 365 288
Labour Party 202 216
SNP 48 28
Liberal Democrats 11 70
Green Party 1 12
Brexit Party 0 10
Plaid 4 4

The SNP would have seen their seat share move to 4.4 per cent under the system, closer to their 3.9 per cent vote share, and giving them 28 seats - down from 48.

As well as the Lib Dems and Labour, other parties that would have benefited from the system include the Brexit Party (gaining 10 seats) and the Greens (gaining 11).

Darren Hughes, Chief Executive of the Electoral Reform Society, said: “No government should be able to win a big majority on a minority of the vote... Under proportional voting systems, seats would more closely match votes, and we could end the scourge of millions feeling unrepresented and ignored.

“Parties like the Greens and Brexit Party won huge numbers of votes and almost no representation. The Lib Dems saw a surge in votes and their number of seats fall. Something is very clearly wrong.

"We can do better than this. We can move to a fairer system, restoring trust in politics and building a better democracy at the same time.”