YOUNG VOICES

Teen Owen Winter's Petition For Proportional Representation Reaches Downing Street

18/05/2015 15:25 BST | Updated 18/05/2015 15:59 BST

A teenager's petition for proportional representation has reached Downing Street with the support of 220,000 members of the public, as well as the backing from MPs.

Owen Winter has managed to win support from the Green Party's Natalie Bennett, Nigel Farage, the Liberal Democrats' president and the Scottish National Party.

Leading government figures signed the petition at Westminster's Old Palace Yard on Monday morning, before the British Youth Council handed it in to 10 Downing Street on behalf of Winter - who is currently studying for his GCSEs.

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Speaking to HuffPost UK, Winter, who is a UK Youth Parliament member for North and East Cornwall, said he started the petition because he did not want to have to vote tactically in the next general election.

"In my constituency, I have been bombarded with leaflets that tell me that certain candidates ‘can’t win’ which I think is a negative way of campaigning. When I am old enough to vote I wouldn’t like to think that I am ‘wasting’ my vote and I think that many people are driven away from politics because they feel unrepresented."

Those are some figures...(Via @BBCNewsbeat)

Posted by Huffington Post UK Young Voices on Friday, 8 May 2015

The 16-year-old says he has been "amazed" by the number of people who have supported his campaign, saying: "I hope we can carry the momentum so that politicians will not be able to ignore us."

Replacing the current first past the post system was again brought up for debate following the disparity between the number of votes a party gained with the number of seats they were awarded. Most noticeable was the difference between the SNP, which won 56 seats with 1.5m votes, and Ukip, which was awarded one seat, despite having a 3.8m share of the votes.

Winter added: "Hopefully, with the support of the many people who disagree with First Past the Post, the government will take notice of our campaign and support a debate on reforming our voting system.

"If we do not succeed during this parliament, I hope that we can build on support so that we can make electoral reform and issue in the next General Election or the Labour Leadership elections."

A May 2011 referendum saw voters reject electoral reform, meaning it is unlikely that there will be much appetite in Parliament to re-examine the system.