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The proportion of the electorate choosing the governing party at election time has fallen from just under a third in 1997 to only just over one fifth (21.6 per cent) in 2005. It is a figure that the supporters of a fairer voting system, such as David Lipsey, will be waving about over the next few months, alleging that the government does not deserve its still handsome majority in the Commons and enjoys only a “weak mandate.” Both those things may be true—and the election has properly given fresh impetus to the voting system debate—yet it is hard not to…

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