Safe seats and the MPs expenses scandal…

I want to come to a couple of back to back articles by Garrett FitzGerald in the Irish Times over the last two weeks in which he argues for a reforms that would see the Republic drop the STV system of Proportional Representation, for a rather complex Alternative Vote system. But in the meantime, Mark Thompson has some fascinating data which indicate a propensity for those in safe seats (the Member for Belfast East being one such case in point) towards implication in the expenses scandal… This earlier post lays out the proposition more clearly. However the caveat has to be that we don’t yet know the full extent of the irregularities, so the statistics here are necessarily incomplete and may even prove misleading. But since, as Guido notes, Douglas Carswell is one of the leading lights in the execution of the Speaker, and he only has a majority of 920…

Mick is founding editor of Slugger. He has written papers on the impacts of the Internet on politics and the wider media and is a regular guest and speaking events across Ireland, the UK and Europe. Twitter: @MickFealty