General Election Coming - Be Careful What YOU Vote For!

Like millions in our country, I am desperate for a general election to end Tory rule that has torn our country apart over the last 14 years. 

The incoming government will have to deal with the worst economic situation since the 1950s, and whilst people are predicting a Labour landslide victory based on the anger, disgust and distrust felt for the Conservatives who have permeated government with lies, corruption and cronyism – people need to be careful what they wish for in our weak, naïve ‘good chap’ model of government.   

The Rwanda Bill that passed late last night is a timely reminder of the weaknesses of our Parliamentary model and how majority government work.  Majority governments are theoretically accountable to Parliament and the electorate, but there are fundamental flaws that undermine this accountability.

Our first-past-the-post electoral system allows a party to form a majority government without winning a majority of votes. In the 2019 general election, the Conservatives won a landslide victory with a majority of 80 seats, on 43.6% of the popular vote.  Whilst this was the highest percentage for any party since the 1979 general election, this record is set to be smashed by the 2024 election as the pendulum swings wildly from blue to red.  

The doctrine of parliamentary sovereignty means that once elected, the government can essentially enact any laws it wants for the five years they are in power, with little effective scrutiny from Parliament.  With Lord Hailsham famously described this system as an "elective dictatorship".

While Parliament has committees to scrutinise the government, they lack real power to sanction or remove ministers or overturn policies.  Whilst I am very supportive of Select Committees, they are a positive cross-party mechanism that should be afforded an expert secretariate, their role is limited in seeking explanations and transparency.

Ministers are supposed to be accountable to Parliament for their departments under the doctrine of individual ministerial responsibility. However, in practice, ministers can avoid taking responsibility by blaming civil servants.

Low voter turnout also degrades our democracy.  Turnout in recent general elections has averaged 68% which means a significant portion of the electorate is not holding the government to account through their vote.  If the data on people saying, ‘they’re all the same’ and ‘the voting system is so unfair what’s the point’ leading to feelings of disenfranchisement and distrust in politics and politicians is correct and around a quarter of that 68% do not vote in 2024, it would mean only circa 50% of the electorate voting.

Since 2019, law making in Britain has become worse. Laws that govern how we live our lives are hastily drafted, receive less scrutiny, and contain many errors to the exasperation of experts, academics, and decent politicians.  

I recently learned that in 2023, civil servants were being given a board game – Legislate?!  The game was devised by the Office of the Parliamentary Counsel, which drafts government legislation. The players roll dice and move counters as they steer legislation around Whitehall and through Parliament. They turn over cards revealing the hurdles of the system. “Forget to signify Queen’s Consent. Go back 2 spaces.” “New programme motion needed. Miss a turn.” The first player to have their policy become the law of the land wins.   Not sure if to laugh or cry! 

In March this year, research by the FT found that Sunak has been overseeing a zombie Parliament where the working day for MPs in the chamber has been shorter on average for this parliamentary session than in any other in the past quarter century.  The average duration of a Commons sitting day in the current parliamentary session, which began in November, has been 7 hours and 9 minutes, a record low since 1997.  

When you consider how broken almost every area and sector of our country is, this is an abomination.  But the passage of the Rwanda Bill illustrates how a government can use its timetabling powers to avoid scrutiny and maximise political game playing.  Sunak could have timetabled this Bill weeks ago but chose not to.  

It is the Leader of the House of Commons, presently Penny Mordaunt, a government minister, who is responsible for organising and announcing the schedule of parliamentary business each week.  She works closely with the government's Chief Whip, Simon Hart MP, to manage the legislative agenda and time allocated for debates.  

The entire system is in the hands of the ruling party and government – meaning our democratic system is just one big political performance when there is a large majority government.  

While our system has mechanisms intended to hold majority governments accountable, issues like the electoral system, parliamentary sovereignty, toothless MPs, the whipping system, ministerial buck-passing, and voter apathy undermine their effectiveness.  In practice, a majority government is an autocracy for five years.

To have a strong democracy we also need an effective opposition.  But the likelihood is that the Conservatives in opposition will decent further into chaos as they fight for the soul and direction of their party.

As we face a five-year parliament that will set the foundations of how our country deals with the seismic issues predicted to affect us in the 2030s, the next general election is a rare opportunity for voters to take control through tactical voting in opposition parties’ target seats to affect a proxy proportional representation parliament.  

Think very carefully and choose a local MP who will put local people before party and will have the courage to properly question and scrutinise what happens in Westminster. 

Voters have the power to elect a representative Westminster that will hold Labour to account and encourage them to be radical and act with courage, competency, and care - to fix our broken country, politics and voting system.

Top Target Seats 

The Labour 150 target seats, LibDem 50 target seats, and Greens 10 target seats can be found here 

Our True & Fair Party 5 target seats are here 


Gina Miller – Leader, True & Fair Party, and Prospective MP for Epsom and Ewell