Direct Party and Representative Voting (DPR)

Updated April 2015 |

Direct Party and Representative Voting (DPR Voting) - Gender Balance (GB) variant

A voting system to replace 'First Past the Post'

DPR Voting is a form of Proportional Representation that works with our single member constituencies

The Gender Balance variant is intended to result in a more gender balanced parliament.

A gender balanced parliament
The system encourages each party to field both a male and female candidate in each constituency. The numbers of male and female MPs elected would be more nearly equal. No quotas, bias, or positive discrimination are used.


For a short description of DPR Voting - see here

In Brief

Parties are encouraged, but not forced, to put forward one male and one female candidate in each constituency.
In the 'Gender Balance' variant there are three ballot papers for each voter to complete.
Voters have one choice to make on each ballot paper.
With the first ballot paper the voter chooses the political party of their choice - the 'Party' vote,
The purpose of the other two ballot papers is to elect one constituency MP - their 'Representative'.
One 'representative' ballot paper lists the male candidates.
The other 'representative' ballot paper lists the female candidates.

Each voter has a vote on each ballot paper and makes a single choice - marked with a single X. The votes for each candidate are counted.
The candidate with the most votes is elected, regardless of which ballot paper they are on.

In DPR Voting one MP is elected in each single constituency. The share of the 'Party' votes each party wins is used to determine how many votes each parliamentary party should have in the parliament. How are the votes of the parliamentary party exercised? This total of parliamentary votes is shared out (equally) between the party's MPs - the winners of individual constituency elections.


Why would this form of election result in a gender balanced parliament?

If, for example, on one of the representative ballot papers there were five candidates, and on the other two, one of the candidates on the second ballot paper might be expected to win more votes than any candidate on the first ballot paper where the total vote would be split five ways.
1) Candidates on the ballot paper with the fewer number of candidates would have an advantage.
2) The system would encourage each party to field both a male and a female candidate in each constituency.

If a party fields only one candidate and that candidate is on the ballot paper with the most candidates, that candidate has a reduced chance of winning. Each party needs to have a candidate on the ballot paper that has the least number of candidates.

As a result
The number of candidates of each sex would be more nearly equal.
The number of candidates of each sex who get elected would be more nearly equal.
The advantage in favour of the sex with the fewer candidates would be a self correcting balancing mechanism.
The system does not rely on positive descrimination. It involves no inherent or unfair electoral bias in favour of, or against, female (or male) candidates.
An assumption is that generally voters will use their vote on both 'representative' ballot papers
In a 'real' election some voters may choose not to vote for any of the candidates on one of the ballot papers.
Some people will vote only for their party sponsored candidates and no others.
Principal outcomes:
• A form of proportional representation (PR) is achieved with minimal change to the voting system.
• The existing system of single member constituencies is retained.
• The existing system of directly elected constituency MPs is retained.
  • The number of male and female MPs would be more nearly equal.
• The votes each parliamentary party has are proportional to the votes won in the election.
• This determines which party, or parties, can form the government
• Simplicity of voting and counting is comparable with FPTP.
• The party that wins the election is not decided by voting in 'marginal' constituencies.
The system does not encourage numerous small parties.
The system is resistant to gerrymandering

- Frequent revision to constituency boundaries is not necessary.
• There are no safe Party Seats. (The vote for the MP is separate from the vote for the Party)

- It is in each parties interest to have both a male and a female candidate, but only one candidate can win.
- It encourages independent and independent minded candidates
- The MP becomes more responsive to his/her constituents but less dependent on the Party.
• Each ('Party') vote in every constituency makes a difference to the result of the election.
Note:   Voting is not preferential - Multimember constituencies are not used - Party Lists are not used
    No quotas or positive discrimination are needed
How does DPR Voting work? see here


DPR Voting is a way of introducing proportionality to the UK multi party parliamentary democracy while retaining much of the existing familiar electoral system.
It addresses some aspects of First Past the Post widely perceived as disadvantages, and avoids aspects of other proposed systems of electoral reform which attract the most criticism. It achieves this by changing the way parliament conducts votes (divisions).
DPR Voting results in a parliament of directly elected constituency representatives.
Each MP who is elected is the local choice, elected on individual merit.
The Gender Balance variant of the system could achieve a better balance of male and female MPs without electoral bias, but with a built in self correcting mechanism.

The Change to PR
Unchanged constituency boundaries would offer political continuity locally.
MPs previously elected under FPTP could contest the same constituency ie boundary change is not necessary.
Keeping much of the existing electoral system would make the administrative process of changing over to the new system easier. The cost of introducing the new system would be relatively low. It would be straightforward to reverse the change.
Inside Parliament
The Gender Balance variant would not address the current 'non electoral' aspects of bias towards a preponderance of male MPs within the parliamentary system such as working hours etc, but given larger numbers of female MPs in a new parliament it could be the catalyst for change here also.

Why is DPR Voting a different, fairer and better alternative?

    It's simple - a form of Proportional Representation but with all MPs elected in single member constituencies, with simple voting, and simple and quick counting.
    The Gender Balance variant of the system could produce a gender balanced parliament, without the need for positive descrimination, quotas or bias within the electoral system, but with a built in self correcting mechanism.
  A DPR Voting Election will tend to elect more MPs able to win their constituency election on their own merits rather than their party label.
The overall calibre of MPs in the Parliament increases. Their democratic credentials are strengthened.


    When considering a straightforward PR replacement for FPTP, DPR Voting involves less change to the election process, offers more advantages and fewer disadvantages than any other PR system.
    In DPR Voting, every voter makes a difference to the election result.
Upheaval for administrators?
The introduction of DPR Voting to replace the existing FPTP system for election to the House of Commons would require less upheaval than the change to any other PR system. This is because no changes are necessary to the number of MPs, the number of constituencies, or the constituency boundaries. The process of voting and counting is very similar and simple.

If you would like to comment about DPR Voting, please email the editor.
You vote for the party you want to form the Government. You vote for the representive you want to be your MP.
You vote simply, and directly.

DPR Voting - simple, practical electoral reform

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