Have your say: is there any point voting?

By Gareth Dennison | 08/04/2010 2 comments

Have your say: is there any point voting?

PACK away the rosettes—the general election is already over in Rotherham, a democracy campaign group told voters this week.

Prime Minister Gordon Brown went to the country on Tuesday, but the Electoral Reform Society declared that the races for the borough’s three seats were non-contests.

The campaign lobby’s “safe parliament”—dead certs for the May 6 poll—includes Labour’s Kevin Barron, Denis MacShane and John Healey.

Do you agree with the ERF that the election is about two electorates - one that matters and one that doesn't? Give us your views on the election. Use the "write-a-comment" button to give us your views.

The latest betting odds back the ERF’s predictions, with all three of the area's MPs looking huge favourites.

Mr Healey is a massive 500/1 on to win the newly-created Wentworth and Dearne seat, according to Ladbrokes.

Dr MacShane is currently 200/1 on to win the most  votes in the Rotherham constituency.

The Rother Valley seat is much less secure by comparison, but Ladbrokes still have Mr Barron at 12/1 on, with Tory Lynda Donaldson at 11/2.

Sheffield Central was the only constituency in South Yorkshire identified as a marginal by the ERF.

ERF has called for a radical overhaul of the “Victorian” set-up. It wants to see the first-past-the-post system dumped in favour of single transferable voting, which allocates surplus votes to other candidates as per the elector’s choice.

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Chief executive Dr Ken Ritchie  said: “Across the country we’re seeing a tale of two elections—and two electorates. One that matters, and one that doesn't.

“For over 25 million of us who just happen to live in safe seats, this contest is already over.

“These winners will take their seats in Britain’s Safe Parliament and voters will never be able to boot these MPs out under our present system.

“Most will leave office on conditions of their own choosing after careers measuring into decades. “They are likely to include our future Prime Ministers, our future leaders of the opposition, and all the great office holders of state. They form a class of MPs that are, quite simply, elected for life.

He added: “The expenses crisis awakened people of the inability of ordinary voters to hold these people to account.

“And for any naive enough to think the crisis might trigger a political earthquake, remember these seats are earthquake-proof thanks to our antique voting system.”

  • Why vote? Politicians are all as bad as one another anyway - and that includes the Tories Lynda Donaldson.

    Shooter. Wed 07 Apr 22:07:50.

  • HI, I am the Candidate for the Rother Valley. Your article addresses issues on a national level. If you go around Rother Valley and talk to local people there is a very real chance of a Conservative winning this election in Rother Valley. Make your bets!! Lynda Donaldson

    lyndadonaldson. Wed 07 Apr 13:13:53.

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