THE BCP conurbation can never become united whilst it suffers from a divisive voting system.

Cllr Vikki Slade has done a great job in bringing together a majority of councillors in the Unity Alliance but even her skills cannot bring the three towns closer whilst “first past the post” voting wreaks its havoc. Most constituents did not vote for the councillor who represents them and 24 of our 33 wards have councillors from only one party.

Many people feel that their vote will not make any difference so we had a miserable 33 per cent turnout in our local election. One result of the system is that Poole residents have a majority of Liberal Democrats representing them whilst Conservatives rule the roost in Bournemouth and Independents in Christchurch.

I have made comparisons with two other cities, namely Edinburgh and Belfast, that have comparable electorate sizes but use the more proportional single transferable vote (STV) system and both had turnouts exceeding 50 per cent. They are made up of 17 and 10 wards respectively and significantly each ward has councillors from a number of different parties. In BCP 24 of our 33 wards have councillors of a single colour.

We have more councillors than either of those cities but ours are unfairly distributed. Their voters have the additional benefit that the more powerful STV vote can be used across parties and even to rank candidates within a preferred party.

BCP residents deserve a fair voting system.


Palmerston Road, Parkstone