The first election of 1974 was held in February. It was all about who ruled the country.
Was it the elected government?
Or Authur Scargill and the NUM?
Ted Heath, the Conservative Prime minister called the election after a wave of strikes. He made it plain that the issue of who governed the country was the primary issue in the election.
But instead of getting the government with the highest popular vote, the country got the loser.
It got Harold Wilson.
Wilson's Labour Party won the most seats, even though they got a smaller share of the vote than the Tories. Because they got the most seats they were given the first opportunity to form a government
Wilson, on the day of the election called a surrender parley with Arthur Scargill and the TUC to ensure the security of his minority government.
He then went on to form the Lib-Lab pact, (a poor mans coalition).
The country was in crisis. It needed popular leadership.
It got a coalition of losers. Courtesy of First Past The Post.
Heath was not asked to form the government because the Tories had won fewer seats than the Labour party. Even though the Tories had a greater share of the popular vote. What a travesty.
Wilson, the grand appeaser, forced a false boom and then held another snap election in October 1974. This time he won legitimately though at terrible cost to the nations wealth.
The country got a supine Labour administration that sleep walked the country though devaluation and economic collapse when the country really should have got something a little more "popular" and dare I say, effective.
The country ended up on a rudderless pre-Thatcherite course to the Winter of Discontent. Internally riven by extremists and in the middle of the depths of the cold war the country was, as in 1929 and 1951, bankrupt. It remained that way for a long time.
The current First Past the Post system abjectly failed this country in 1926, 1951 and 1974. The intrinsic flaws in FPTP and particularly its sensitivity to swing seats mean it will fail again unless replaced.
FPTP has the potential to randomly foist either a coalition of losers or (much worse - as in 1951) promote a government with an absolute majority that clearly came second in the election.
FPTP must be replaced. To simply go along with the current system would be to fossilise our democracy and deny our children the right to a dynamic forward looking democracy.
There is only one way to vote in this referendum. Vote for fairness. Vote for AV.