Seven Voting Anomalies That the U.K. Electoral System Produced

The U.K.’s seat-by-seat, winner-takes-all electoral system always throws up a few results that are out of kilter with voting, favoring as it does the big established Conservative and Labour parties over smaller opponents.

Thursday’s election, marked by a rise in support for the minor parties, threw up more than its fair share of anomalous outcomes. Here are seven.

1) Prime Minister David Cameron’s Conservatives won 51 percent of the seats in the House of Commons from 37 percent of the votes cast.

2) The electorate totaled 46.4 million. More of them -- just over a third -- didn’t vote than opted for the Conservatives, which secured the votes of fewer than one in four.

3) Almost one in four of those who did vote chose either the U.K. Independence Party, the Liberal Democrats or the Green Party. They’re now represented by 1.5 percent of the members of Parliament.

4) The Scottish National Party now has 8.6 percent of lower-house lawmakers, having secured 4.7 percent of the U.K.-wide vote.

5) Fewer than 185,000 supporters of the Democratic Unionist Party in Northern Ireland now have as much representation in the House of Commons -- 8 lawmakers -- as the 2.4 million people who voted Liberal Democrat.

6) The DUP has eight times as much representation in the House of Commons as UKIP, which won almost 3.9 million votes: 21 times more than the Northern Irish party. It also has eight times more MPs than the Greens, who secured six times as many votes.

7) It took about 23,000 votes on average to elect a DUP lawmaker, almost 26,000 for an SNP MP, more than 34,000 to elect a Conservative, more than 40,000 votes for a Labour lawmaker, and almost 3.9 million to secure the solitary UKIP lawmaker. Northern Ireland’s Alliance Party, with more than 61,000 votes, was the biggest not to secure a single lawmaker, losing its only MP.

Before it's here, it's on the Bloomberg Terminal. LEARN MORE