A common interpretation of the recent general election results is that the British electorate had no desire for a strong government. In fact, it would appear to be more likely that they all wanted to achieve stability but in differing ways.

However, there remains the question as to whether the results are an accurate reflection of what the electorate want. For instance, in 2005 Labour received 35% of the vote, yet still achieved a 30-seat majority in the House of Commons. In contrast, the Conservatives gained 36% of the vote in 2010, yet failed to secure a majority because of the way in which the “First-Past-the-Post” system relies upon the concentration of voters. Notwithstanding that, FPTP favours the larger parties and makes it difficult for smaller parties to breakthrough.

As part of their coalition deal, the Conservatives have promised the Liberal Democrats that they will conduct a referendum on the “Alternative Vote” system, the simplest form of proportional representation, the aim being to provide a more level playing field for all parties. For example, in the 2009 European elections, which use PR, the Greens gained 9% of the vote, a stark contrast to the 1% gained in the general election, implying that the electorate are more likely to vote for who they want if they believe their vote will count.

Whilst there are still uncertainties surrounding electoral reform, mounting pressure from reform groups and MPs means that change is inevitable between now and 2015.