Sheffield could become ‘one party state’ after election

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Sheffield Council could become a ‘one party state’ after tomorrow’s election, according to projections by the Electoral Reform Society.

It was one of 16 authorities in a list of those which could be dominated by 75 per cent of one party - in those cases Labour – after residents have cast their votes.

There are already 99 councils with that balance of power, most of which are led by Conservative councillors.

Sheffield Council currently has 59 Labour members, 22 Liberal Democrats and two Green members.

Darren Hughes, deputy chief executive of the Electoral Reform Society, called for a ‘fairer’ voting system.

He added: “This week’s local elections should be a celebration of democracy, participation and choice.

“Instead, over three million more people will find themselves coming under the control of local authorities utterly dominated by one political party.

“If this dominance were a reflection of the votes cast on Thursday, then there wouldn’t be any problem. But the sad truth is that One Party States are almost never based on a popular mandate equal to the dominance of the party.

“Often One Party States become complacent owing to the lack of effective opposition. This can lead to poor government, which is ultimately bad for voters as it undermines the council’s ability to provide a good service for the community.

“We need to introduce a fairer voting system for local elections – one which gives voters the chance to be represented by candidates for whom they have actually voted.”