Here’s what you could have won – 2015 General Election Results under Proportional Representation

The results are in for yesterday’s General Election. The Conservative majority was a big surprise but also of note is the fact that UKIP tallied almost 4-million votes whilst only getting a single MP. In contrast, the SNP got less than half the number of votes but have over 50 times the number of MPs.

Equally, the Liberal Democrats who were the biggest losers last night with only 8 MPs left actually got 50% more votes than the SNP, last night’s biggest winners.

This is the First Past The Post System in action.

What would the results have looked like under a Proportional Representation system? That’s a method under which MPs are allocated simply based on how many votes each party gets. Here’s a breakdown…

2015 General Election Votes & Percentage of Popular Vote

Party Votes Percentage
Conservatives 11.3m 37%
Labour 9.3m 30%
UKIP 3.9m 13%
Liberal Democrats 2.4m 8%
SNP 1.5m 5%
Greens 1.1m 4%


Parties’ MPs following the 2015 General Election

This is how many MPs each party actually now has:

Party MPs
Conservatives 331
Labour 232
SNP 56
Liberal Democrats 8
Greens 1


Number of votes cast for each MP

How many votes did the parties have to collect for each of their MPs?

Party Votes per MP
Conservatives 34,000
Labour 40,000
UKIP 3,900,000
Liberal Democrats 300,000
SNP 27,000
Greens 1,100,000

Clearly, UKIP and the Greens are the biggest losers under First Past The Post. Whilst Labour, Conservatives and the SNP fair best.


How many MPs would each party under Proportional Representation?

If MPs were decided purely based on how many votes each party got, this is how many MPs each party would have:

Party Proportional MPs
Conservatives 240
Labour 198
Liberal Democrats 51
SNP 31
Greens 25

Under PR, no party would be near a majority but UKIP, the Liberal Democrats and the Greens would have far greater representation whilst the SNP would be cut in half.

And finally, all the data in one table:

Party Votes MPs Votes per MP Proportional MPs Percentage
Conservatives 11.3m 331 34,000 240 37%
Labour 9.3m 232 40,000 198 30%
UKIP 3.9m 1 3,900,000 81 13%
Liberal Democrats 2.4m 8 300,000 51 8%
SNP 1.5m 56 27,000 31 5%
Greens 1.1m 1 1,100,000 25 4%





7 thoughts on “Here’s what you could have won – 2015 General Election Results under Proportional Representation

  1. Have often said our voting system is ridiculous and I don’t agree with it. This confirms why!

  2. Interesting analysis but you don’t say which firm of PR you’re using to get these figures.
    With so many variations on PR it isn’t as straight forward as you suggest.

    1. Thanks Simon. It’s just simple PR i.e. apportioning MPs based on the party’s vote share. I am sure such a system would never be put in place. I just thought it gave an interesting perspective.

  3. We pride ourselves in Britain of being the seat of democracy yet are unable to organise a fair voting system! no wonder so many do not vote under the present system where you know that your vote will not count or you have to vote tactically to make any difference in your constituency.

  4. I totally agree that our voting system does not deliver the wishes of the electorate. Even the figures shown above are distorted by the system, as many, many voters feel compelled to vote tactically to attempt to thwart an unwanted candidate, instead of voting for a preferred candidate.

  5. Just to take a different perspective. The advantage of the 1st-past-the-post system is that it tends (most of the time) to produce majority government that can govern, fulfilling its mandate. PR (depending on its construct) tends not to. We need to ask ourselves the purpose of an election – to elect effective government or elect a fairly distributed debating chamber.


    1. Thanks Alex. There are certainly plenty of pros and cons to any electoral system. You’ll notice that I didn’t express any opinion on whether I thought PR would be better or worse than what we currently have!

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