POLITICAL campaigners in Weymouth are calling for reforms to the electoral system on the anniversary of the 2019 General Election.

Ahead of December 12, supporters of the ‘Make Votes Matter’ campaign are encouraging residents to join them in sending Christmas cards to South Dorset MP Richard Drax, asking him to back a campaign to scrap the current First Past the Post (FPTP) electoral system, which they say causes voter apathy.

Weymouth councillor Alex Fuhrmann wants the system to be changed so that people feel their votes will make a difference and end tactical voting.

He and other campaigners instead want the Single Transferable Vote System - form of Proportional Representation (PR) - similar to the UK's devolved nations - which they say is fairer and more representative.

“This is chiefly a matter of principle and democratic equality,” cllr Fuhrmann said.

“To govern the country, the party or coalition in power should have to secure at least 50 per cent of the votes - not just 50 per cent of the seats. Labour and Conservative Parties have both resisted this change.”

Cllr Fuhrmann - who is a Labour councillor and local primary school teacher - said switching to-and-fro between the two main parties brings additional problems.

“Frequent changes of direction - particularly in healthcare and education - mean that taxpayer money is wasted on organisational changes, rather than improvements," he added.

"As a Labour councillor, it is far more important to me that we address inequality in the system - even if that means I need to challenge my own party on its policy.”

Also backing the campaign is Weymouth resident Steve Bendle, who said: "The other problem the UK faces is voter apathy - people think their vote will make no difference. Under a good PR system, like the Single Transferable Vote, many more votes have an impact.

"As the recent US Presidential Election has proved, if people think their vote will make a difference, they are much better motivated to vote. And fundamentally, if people are not motivated to vote, democracy cannot work.”

Opponents of electoral reforms say PR it is more likely to lead to a hung parliament, making it harder to pass new legislation.

A 2011 referendum on whether to scrap FPTP in favour of an Alternative Vote system (AV) saw the majority of voters in favour of the current method.

For information visit www.makevotesmatter.org.uk