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List Votes (Disregards)

Volume 463: debated on Monday 23 July 2007

30. What steps the Electoral Commission is taking to assess the effect on voter turnout of the disregarding of list votes cast for candidates elected in constituencies in the Scottish Parliament and National Assembly for Wales. (151091)

That is very unfortunate, because when I cast my vote for the Labour party in the north Wales regional list at the National Assembly elections, that vote has no consequence, as it is not counted; it does not result in the meaningful casting of a vote on my part. It is irrelevant for me to take the action of voting, and in my view the commission should look at the issue to decide whether there is a disincentive for individuals to vote. Is not that exactly what the Electoral Commission should look at?

The additional Member system was introduced, for the Welsh Assembly elections, the Scottish Parliament elections, and elections to the Greater London Authority, by Parliament at the initiative of the Government in 1999. It includes the D’Hondt system of alternative counting, on which I have made myself an expert in advance of the hon. Gentleman’s question, but the commission takes the view that it would not be appropriate for it to make an assessment of the merits of different electoral systems. It believes that that is Parliament’s role.