please empty your brain below

Surely the point is that because nobody knew who these 900 voters were going to be, the Tories needed to persuade sufficient people** to change their mind so that these 900 people would have been included.

**this figure can probably be estimated as well - I guess around 100000
That, with the pictorial representations of 'votes to seats' from your Saturday post, is the strongest case for urgent electoral reform that I have ever read.
One can put forward a case for electorial reform if one wants to but bear in mind that if we had proportional representation, for example, this would not merely alter the result - it would also alter the way people vote.

Argue the case by all means but I hope no-one comes up with the fatuous "If we had proportional representation the result would have been ..." - because it wouldn't.
PR isn't the best ER.
Pedantic is absolutely right. A system of proportional representation does change the way people vote, once enough electors cotton on to the possibilities offered by tactical voting. It can also mean votes going all over the place, leading to some surprising – and sometimes undesired – results.
No, seven seats changing from Tory to Labour doesn't turn a Tory majority of 13 into a Labour majority of 1. It turns it into an Everyone-Else majority of 1, or rather a Tory minority of 1, with the Tories still having many more MPs than Labour. Your logic would only work if there were no MPs from any parties other than Tory and Labour.
Sorry, please ignore the comment above. On re-reading I see that I misunderstood.
With *any* system, in a finely-enough balanced election, there will be a last voter who tips the scales. Ultimately there is only one PM and even the most proportional of voting systems can't split the job evenly between two parties.

The fallacy is possibly to think that anybody is special*. There are many more voters than reasons to vote one way or another: if I choose to put my X against the Green or the Tory, or not to vote at all, there are thousands of other electors making the same choice for the same reasons. Those lucky 700 represent a huge swathe of us.

*Arrow's theorem says (I think) that if a voting system satisfies a few obvious conditions you might want in a system, then there *is* a special voter, known in advance, who ultimately gets to choose. This is why nobody uses those systems.
The National/Liberal Coalition formed a minority government in Queensland in February 1996. The Labor party would have been the majority government but for 20 voters in the seat of Greenslopes who had voted for the Liberal party at the July 1995 election. In fact, the Labor party did form a majority government in July 1995 only to have their one seat majority overturned when it turned out that 22 soldiers in Rawanda had been denied their vote by a late plane.

This was under they system that was rejected at the UK Referendum of 2011.
..... and who can forget the 2000 US presidential election, won by Bush Jr on a margin of five electoral college votes after a recount to determine how Florida should cast its block vote of 25. The winning margin in Florida was 537, or less than 0.01% of the total votes cast in that state. That's 269 Floridians who decided the outcome.

The infamous "hanging chads" and other uncertainties gave the margin of error as anything up to 700 more votes for Al Gore.
It's "Clwyd"!

dg writes: Ah yes. It is now, thanks.
And what say of all the people who did not vote? Some perhaps are doing so well that in all truth it not matter who won? Then there must be others for whom things are so bad that it makes not difference. Maybe others felt that the whole thing is one big con and no matter who won it will continue being one big con? Maybe what is interesting is finding out what the people who didn't vote would like in terms of how the country is run?
Stark reading for the 33.9% of you that couldn't be bothered to get off the sofa that day.
I would say the difference between a minority and a majority Conservative government might not turn out to be so significant.

A year from now I would not be surprised if a rebel 'Eurosceptic bloc' has developed from within the party that will make passing even manifesto legislation difficult. Cameron will find himself having to strike deals with the UUP and DUP in any case, and - who knows - maybe the SNP after all.
@Simon: I would say this entirely reinforces any decision that may have been made by anyone not living in a marginal seat to not to get off the sofa.
Just like our elections in the states - the land of the 'hanging chad' where 250 votes in Florida helped put George Bush in the White House.

I can never figure out who these 'undecided' voters are and how after watching 17,000 TV ads they still can't make up their minds. Whew! They DO get all the attention though. I wonder how they ever decide if they ought to get out of bed in the morning or not?
"And what say of all the people who did not vote?"

.. well you could try compulsory voting (along with PR, OPV and an MMC :).

Now being copied word for word in the Daily Mirror.

Well done.
@Great Aunt Annie
"leading to some surprising – and sometimes undesired – results"

You mean, undesirable to the status quo and the two largest parties?

Something like them having slightly less votes, perhaps?
Just out of interest, did the Mirror ask before they cited you?
No the Mirror didn't ask before they cited me.
But I do get an attribution, and I don't see any problem in a newspaper reporting on it anyway.
@Ralph: I was thinking it could lead to a situation where hardly anyone is happy with the outcome.
Very encouraging for those who are fighting against the Tories' diabolical injustice and inequality:
James good crystal ball!

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