IT HAS been said that Rory Stewart made a big impression on the Conservative leadership election, by actually pitching himself more towards the general public, rather than the Tory faithful.

There is no doubt that Rory is very personable and very reasonable in his ideas. His approach towards low-level offenders as Prisons Minister exemplifies this.

As someone who considers myself to be middle of the road, and who has not voted Conservative in more than 20 years, I welcome Rory's aim to see the Tory party move once again to occupy the centre ground of politics. But is he missing a trick?

His friend and neighbouring MP Tim Farron tweeted support after he was knocked out of the Tory leadership contest, suggesting he does not really belong in the Conservative party. The big game changer we now need to fix our broken politics is the end of the outdated First Past The Post (FPTP) electoral system, as supported by Mr Farron and the Lib Democrats.

The traditional British view that FPTP produces strong majority one-party Government has been blown up in smoke. Proportional Representation (PR) is more the norm in the OECD. Included in those countries that use PR are the Nordic countries, the Benelux countries and Germany. I don't consider it to be unreasonable to suggest they are doing OK.

Meanwhile, back in Rory's constituency of Penrith and the Border, we have some of the UK's least-powerful voters, because it is a safe Tory seat.

It must be stressed that people under FPTP are only really voting for their one MP on general election day. If any given constituency pretty much votes one way, then those constituents are not going to influence the wider general election.

I believe it is time for the people of Penrith and the Border to demand a vote that actually counts and to strike while the iron is hot, with Rory Stewart's profile seemingly on the up.

Rory himself accepted on BBC Question Time recently that politicians have not listened to people. His constituents need to get in touch with him to express a wish for the equal vote PR will bring which, in turn, will bring the necessary change in political culture this country so desperately needs.

Andy J. Watson

Bewsey, Warrington