Ford demands STV for electing MPs

Alliance Leader David Ford has written to the Prime Minister to call for the introduction of Proportional Representation for the election of Northern Ireland’s Westminster MPs.

David Ford said: “Even before the official release of the new boundary proposals, we are witnessing Unionist and Nationalist dogfights over the possible changes.

“Party officials are adding up votes ward by ward and attempting to manipulate changes for their own benefit.

“It is clear that the X vote is completely incapable of fairly representing all the people of Northern Ireland. In the past, it totally over-represented the UUP: based on recent polls, the DUP and Sinn Fein are likely to be grossly over-represented.

“I recent raised this issue with the Secretary of State. The reply that I received from John Spellar showed that he did not understand the facts of the introduction of STV in the 1970s and he ignored the real dangers of the X vote.

“I have therefore called on the Prime Minister to consider changes to the electoral system.

“The Sunningdale Assembly was fatally damaged in 1974 when the UUUC won 11 out of twelve seats on 51% of the vote. There would be equal danger to the Good Friday Agreement if Sinn Fein and the DUP won 15 seats between them although together they only gained half the votes cast last year.”

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