I don't understand this argument as it ignores the system of representation we have. People elect locally, not nationally (at least they're supposed to, anyway), so the total votes a party gets is more or less an irrelevence. It would make more sense to look at the individual constituencies and ask why parties like UKIP, Green etc. weren't performing at a level that could secure them more seats.
There are several problems:
>the parties and the national outcome is politicised vastly more than local, meaning that most people consider the national outcome rather than local when voting
>using Thanet South as an example, under FPTP the winner of the election had a share of 38.1% of votes cast (not close to a majority of total votes) where the second had 32.4% and third 23.8%. Ignoring the rest of the share for laziness, that means that 56.2% (a majority) of the electorate voted for someone who is not the winner (and, therefore, have not democratically supported them)
>FPTP is generally praised as producing stable governments and allowing electorates to kick out bad MPs and support good ones, but since elections are usually only every 5 years, this means that if an electorate want to support or get rid of their MP they often have to vote tactically (and also have to vote based on only a rough idea of how things MIGHT turn out)
>tactical voting is having to compromise on your wishes as an electorate in order to achieve this, and doing so is either:
>bad, in which case you can quite easily argue that a proportional voting system is superior, in at least allowing political beliefs to be better represented
>fine, in which case under proportional voting there is still the element of political compromise in that if your opinions are of the minority, if it is a ranked system at least your alternative (less prefereable ones) choices are more likely to win, which is compromise
In my area the libdems lost loads of votes to the UKIP and other small parties.
It seems like the vast majority do not understand voting tactically.
Good, I think voting tactically is as appalling as tribal voting and has led us to this mess to start with.
A lot of voters have little grasp on politics, you no longer learn it in school nor is it easily accessible for most people.
I don't think it's easy to say something like this. It's far more likely the case that political matters aren't politicised enough and people aren't informed on issues rather than policies, which is on the parties more than anyone. You only have to look at the AV referendum, its campaign and the voting turnout to show that.
Tribal voting is still very much a thing, which is a shame, and apathy is also a concern (and partly caused by it), but it's on the parties to politicise and campaign properly rather than simply invest time and effort into mud throwing and manifesto pledging.
A lot of people don't appreciate the reliance we as a country have on a strong govt, aka a majority govt (even in 2010 it was a majority coalition) a system based more on proportional representation would leave a govt which would find it very hard to pass much of their manifesto due to strong partisanship
The point of the system isn't to be fair, it's to produce a stable government. And despite the fact that I hate the tories, I would prefer stable government to the utter chaos of PR.
This is a valid argument against reforming the system from FPTP, but equally the state of the two major parties is such that their manifesto and voting is flawed anyway because they have expanded out into the centre so much that they're essentially coalitions themselves.
Many Conservatives are far more to the right and Eurosceptic than Cameron and the party leadership at the moment, for instance, and are often ignored in favour of appealing to centre-ground voters with compromise. To someone in the Conservative right, a lot of their manifesto would seem like a coalition compromise itself.
Equally, many in Labour are more left and some also Eurosceptic than the party leadership, and must feel ignored for the same reasons.
I would argue that the state of the parties in being so bloated, fractured and strained to the point of near-collapse has fooled the electorate and politicians that FPTP is able to produce stable government and that there is no need for political reform, but in actual fact this stability is false as it's the parties and their membership that take the strain whenever policy and manifesto needs to be decided rather than the government.
That's not a great comparison. The SNP only ran in 59 seats, whereas UKIP had candidates in 624. You could argue that FPTP has shown the will of the Scottish people reasonably well.
While this is fine and perfectly valid in the system as is, the state of Scotland in the political union is a joke. The West Lothian question needs an answer soon.
Also, with regards to the result of the country, 24.3%, 14.9% and 7.5% of the electorate are only represented by one MP each, and though only half of the electorate voted for SNP candidates, all but three constituencies are now represented by them.