The plan that they have adopted is the worst of all possible plans. It is the stupidest, the least scientific and the most unreal that the Government have embodied in their [Representation of the People] Bill. The decision of 100 or more constituencies, perhaps 200, is to be determined by the most worthless votes given for the most worthless candidates.
There may well be a multiplicity of weak and fictitious candidates in order to make sure that the differences between No. 1 and No. 2 shall be settled, not by the second votes of No. 3, but by the second votes of No. 4 or No. 5, who may, presumably give a more favourable turn to the party concerned. This method is surely the child of folly, and will become the parent of fraud. Neither the voters nor the candidates will be dealing with realities. An element of blind chance and accident will enter far more largely into our electoral decisions than even before, and respect for Parliament and Parliamentary processes will decline [even] lower than it is at present.
. . . when I see this Bill and know, as I do perfectly well, all the forces, all the misunderstanding, all the stupidity, all the cunning, all the desperation, which have brought it about, it is impossible not to feel profoundly anxious.