Written evidence from Dan Norris (TEB59)


Public Administration and Constitutional Affairs Committee

The Elections Bill inquiry



Election Bill changes to voting system


Whilst noting that the results of both the elections to the post of West of England Metro Mayor held so far would not have been changed by the proposed switch from the supplementary vote system to ‘first past the post’ I would like to put on record my opposition to this change.


My election campaign, held as it was during the Covid-19 pandemic, was challenging for many reasons but the system used in the election was not one of them. I do not recall receiving any correspondence from constituents asking about or complaining about the voting system. I therefore believe it is disingenuous for the Government to argue that the present system “confuses the public”.


For mayoral elections, the present supplementary voting method allows voters to express a second preference, if no candidate receives 50% of the vote, second preferences are taken into account. I believe that this ensures that a candidate must have a larger base of support to win and that this is more helpful to the democratic process and paves the way for more collective working. A Metro Mayor with a broader basis of support will find it easier to take the difficult decisions that need to be taken in order to be effective.


I would like to reiterate my opposition to the proposed changes to the voting system.



September 2021