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FPTP leads to safe seats and second jobs

November 28, 2021 4:09 PM
By Bryan Lewis

Whilst the main argument against the First Past The Post electoral system (FPTP) is that the winner frequently has far fewer than half the votes, a second effect is that some winners have huge majorities even when it is under half the vote.

These constituencies become safe seats and their MPs are accountable to nobody but their party leaving the public powerless to take action and hold them to account. It should come as no surprise then that MPs in safe seats are far more likely to have taken up second jobs than their colleagues in marginal constituencies.

New research by the campaigning group Best for Britain found that nearly all the MPs with second jobs paying more than their parliamentary salary of £82K have majorities over 17,000 votes. Until there is reform of the voting system, we will always be saddled with MPs that know that they have a seat for life. If we don't tackle the root cause of scandals like this, quick fixes will only mask the problem.