UK Election : Lib Dems are the big loser

by Alex Duncan  |  May 7, 2010 – 10:44 pm


I’m a big believer that ultimately winning is what counts, today’s election result for the LibDems was proof itself that 2nd place is the first loser.

For those of you who haven’t heard there has been an election in the UK in the past 24hrs. The results are in and it’s a hung parliament. Whether a government will emerge and who will be Prime minister remain to be seen over the next few days.

Parties Seats Votes Votes per Seat
Conservative 296 10,361,010 35,003
Labour 252 8,382,484 33,264
Liberal Democrat 53 6,567,162 123,909

The Liberal Democrats have long complained that the system is broken and disadvantages them, but what is the real price of coming 2nd so often? Even though a few results still remain to be declared I threw together this quick table showing the number of votes each party achieved divided by the number of parliamentary seats they won. The answer couldn’t be more striking, at 123,909 the Liberal Democrats get almost 4x as many votes per seat they win as the two main parties. This is chronically inefficient by any stretch of the imagination. The £s and hours that must be wasted to achieve those few victories and so many many 2nd places.

With a hung parliament having being declared I can imagine Nick Clegg is enjoying this rare taste of power and good luck to him. In the meantime I’m going to concentrate on winning, 2nd place doesn’t look so good.