In Scotland, the SNP has 26 seats more than its 2015 share of the vote warrants!
Under the Single Transferable Vote, the Conservatives would have had an extra 7 seats in Scotland.
There were 414,136 wasted Conservative votes in Scotland. Every vote for a losing Conservative candidate counted for nothing. Every vote for a winning Conservative MP giving a majority larger than a single vote counted for nothing. These are votes that could be used to support Conservatives elsewhere.
Since 2007 Scottish local councils have been elected by the Single Transferable Vote (STV). The Conservative Party has arguably benefited directly from STV, especially when compared to what the results might have been under FPTP. Perhaps the biggest change has been the way in which it has allowed the Conservatives into councils where it had no representation before.
STV has also allowed the Conservatives greater entry into local council cabinets. After the 2012 local elections the Conservatives have been involved in a minority government in South Ayrshire. They are also the senior coalition partner in Aberdeenshire where they are in coalition with the Lib Dems and Independents. They are the junior coalition partner in Aberdeen (with Labour and Independents), in East Ayrshire (SNP), East Lothian (Labour), Falkirk (Labour and Independents), Moray (Independents), and Stirling (Labour).
The Conservatives are in government with every other major party in Scotland in nine out of 32 councils. This is even more impressive as 11 Scottish councils have single-party administrations. Of those, the Conservatives are providing support from outside cabinet in Clackmannanshire, Fife, Inverclyde, Perth and Kinross, South Lanarkshire and West Lothian. Thus in the Conservatives’ weakest region of Britain, they have nevertheless managed to hold real power and influence in line with their support.
These are the benefits – both in principle and in practice – of a fairer voting system. It allows parties to exert influence where they have genuine support, and even where they are outnumbered. It gives fair representation to voters’ views at the ballot box, and it gives parties the opportunity to reflect these views in the corridors of power.
And yet the Conservative Party has only one MP in Westminster.