As with any Proportional Representation system, there are inevitably some disadvantages to the PFPTP ProFirst proposal:

  • It is more likely than the present First-Past-The-Post system to lead to a "hung" parliament or a coalition, though from recent evidence, the current system is not immune to that!
  • Given that the proposed system would always require the party which polled the largest number of votes nationally to form the government, it could be argued that a minority government is almost inevitable. But that completely overlooks the fact that with a new, transparent, voting system, the electorate is in a far better position to avoid that outcome if that is what the majority of people want.

  • Minor parties would be given a much greater say in the House, in proportion to their support countrywide. This is true, but then that is what democracy is supposed to be all about.

  • Whether or not the following is a disadvantage or an advantage depends on your regional or nationalist viewpoint. The exact proportionality of the votes in the House would mean that each part of the UK would have a representational power exactly proportional to its own voting population - or, at least, the proportion of each that actually voted. But an extension of the postal voting system could allow, say, a Scot living in Wales to vote for a Scottish party, or an English voter living in Scotland to vote for an English party.

But compared with the current - clearly unrepresentative - First-Past-The-Post system, these concerns seem relatively unimportant when set against the very obvious benefits offered by PFPTP ProFirst. These stem from its speed of obtaining a transparently proportional result, at minimal extra cost and far greater proportionality, when compared with the AV (Alternative Vote) system.

Reservations expressed in the 2005 Report of the Independent Commission on the Voting System:

Despite the fact that electronic voting in the House had already been under consideration, the 2005 Jenkins Report ignored the possibility and noted, rather condescendingly, that "there is another system operating entirely on existing constituencies ... which has been advocated by a number of those providing us with written submissions. It is what might be called the 'weighted vote member system'. Members would be elected exactly as now, but where their party was under-represented nationally this would be corrected by giving them an additional voting strength in the division lobbies of the House of Commons .... Whether they would carry these numbers round their necks or on their backs, rather like prize bulls at an agricultural show, is not clear, but what is clear is that there would be great problems if one of these vote-heavy beasts were to find himself in a lobby different from his party leader and whips. ... Therefore, while we respect the ingenuity and conviction with which this weighted vote solution has been put forward, we think that it would arouse more mockery than enthusiasm and be incompatible with the practical working of a parliament."