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Winner (still) takes all

Why are so many Britons retiring on inadequate pensions? Why are trains still unreliable and most urban comprehensives so poor? Blame our ultra-competitive, winner-takes-all political system

By Michael Prowse   May 2005

The likelihood of Britain adopting a fairer and more efficient electoral system in the near future remains low. As the late Roy Jenkins ruefully conceded in his 1998 report on the voting system, it is only when political parties lack power that they are willing to consider reforms that might result in its fairer distribution. Tony Blair’s unexpectedly decisive victory in 1997 thus put the cause of proportional representation (PR) back for a decade or so.

Yet Blair is no longer the invincible politician that he was when Jenkins completed his review. Although Labour is still likely to win an…

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