Ely & District Progressives

Local people attempting to shake up local politics

Local need for proportional representation

In East Cambridgeshire there are 39 district councillors and 9 county councillors, following the last full district (2015) and county (2013) elections* they were distributed between the parties as follows. (*There have been by-elections since which have slightly altered this distribution).

Party District County
Seats % Seats %
Conservative 36 92.5% 8 89%
Green 0 0% 0 0%
Independent 1 2.5% 0 0%
Labour 0 0% 0 0%
Liberal Democrat 2 5% 0 0%
UKIP 0 0% 1 11%

The overwhelming Conservative domination of the seats implies that they represent the vast majority of the local electorate, but that’s not the case.

These are the results for the last full district (2015) and county (2013) elections.

Party District County
Conservative 49% 36%
Green 4% 3%
Independent 5% 4%
Labour 16% 15%
Liberal Democrat 25% 27%
UKIP 1% 15%

In the District Council elections, the Conservatives got more votes than any other party, but crucially they did not represent the majority. They got twice as many votes as the Liberal Democrats but gained 18 times as many seats.

In the County elections it’s even worse. Despite gaining only 36% of the vote the Conservatives took 89% of the seats. They only got 1/3rd more votes than the Liberal Democrats who got no seats at all.

Here’s the difference in the County election between the share of the votes and the seats.

County Pie Votes - Seats

There are a few things to take from these figures.

  1. Despite their near total electoral dominance there is no overwhelming Conservative majority.
  2. There is a healthy section of the electorate which could be described as “progressive”.
  3. The First Past The Post electoral system produces very skewed results in East Cambridgeshire.

These skewed results matter. A majority of the electorate goes unrepresented in our area and we end up with a District Council which has no open public debate, no transparency and no electoral accountability.

The representation we send to the County Council skews it’s make up, leading to a split between what on the face of it appears to be overwhelmingly Conservative rural areas and the more progressive city. In truth a large portion of the electorate in those rural areas are also progressive, but they lack any representation at County level.