In response to the letter ‘60% is benchmark’ (Letters, March 21) referenda are divisive but so are general elections and, indeed, all subjects requiring votes.

If this benchmark were to apply to include votes when we select a party to govern the country and to look after our interests then we would indeed be in trouble.

In a recent quiz game on BBC TV the question was asked “when did this country last vote in a party with a majority vote from the voting public?”, or words to that effect. The answer was 1933.

Perhaps something should be done about that, but first past the post seems acceptable, especially to those who win, no matter how small the margin.

Added to that, recently a vote of ‘No confidence in the Government’ was held in parliament. The result was a victory for the Government with 306 votes against 325 for. The result greeted with rapturous applause, cheers and waving of papers.

This represents 48 per cent against the government, 52 per cent for the Government. If these percentages look familiar then they are exactly the same as in the referendum, 48 per cent to remain, 52 per cent to leave.

Why then, in a ‘so called’ democracy, should one victory be accepted without question, while another is not acceptable?

If, as suggested in the letter, the ‘status quo’ should remain if there is not a 60 per cent majority either way then, in the case of the present referendum, this would be blatantly unfair to those who voted to leave, even though the majority was small. Victory then would be handed to the minority.

Where is the justice in that? How can that be called democracy?

Edward A W Imrie

Pontyberam, Wales