"Democracy is not just a means to an end. Democracy is a value in itself. And if we treasure that value, we need to provide a more democratic system for the centrepiece of our own political structure." - Robin Cook, 2005
LCER is a network of Labour Party members and supporters campaigning for the Labour Party to support a more proportional voting system.
We believe the current voting system ("First Past the Post") is unfair, outdated and not fit for purpose. We want to see FPTP replaced with a voting system in which everyone’s vote counts, seats are allocated broadly in proportion to the votes cast, and the link is maintained between MPs and their constituents.
LCER IS RECRUITING!
After the 2019 election, the arguments for proportional representation are more compelling than ever. First Past the Post has handed Boris Johnson a huge parliamentary majority, on well under half the popular vote. Labour members and supporters must come together to ensure we replace this corrupt voting system. Stand up and be counted - join LCER today!
LABOUR PARTY LEADERSHIP ELECTION
On this page you will ONLY find formal statements made by the candidates in the course of the leadership election. You can read more about what the candidates have previously said about voting reform on Make Votes Matter's website.
Visit our leadership election page for more information on the process, hustings dates, plus details of the candidates for deputy leader.
At the ERS/Open Labour hustings, Rebecca Long-Bailey noted that the Conservatives had benefited hugely from FPTP in the 2019 election, and expressed a commitment to a constitutional convention in which proportional voting systems are discussed. She supports the constituency link, and believes that this should be a core feature of any new proportional system.
At the ERS/Open Labour hustings, Lisa Nandy expressed support in principle for more proportional voting systems, but suggested that PR should not be pursued for general elections, since any party proposing to introduce PR would abandon that promise once elected. Instead, PR should be trialled for local government elections [she omitted to mention that PR-type systems have been rolled out at several local and regional levels of government].
Keir Starmer is the only candidate for the Leadership to have replied to LCER's email soliciting his views on proportional representation. “We’ve got to address the fact that millions of people vote in safe seats and they feel their voice doesn’t count. That’s got to be addressed by electoral reform. We will never get full participation in our electoral system until we do that at every level. I would consult the Party membership on electoral reform and include it within the constitutional convention that looks at wider democratic renewal--including abolishing the Lords and furthering devolution on the principles of federalism.”
2019 election: What would the result have been under PR?
It isn't possible to say exactly what the result would have been under PR, and beware of anyone who tells you otherwise! Voting patterns would be different under PR: turnout would most likely be higher if everyone's vote counted, and almost everyone would vote according to their conviction rather than tactically.
But one thing is absolutely clear: the Conservatives would not have won an 86-seat majority under a fair voting system. The graphic below, from Channel 4's FactCheck report, shows how Parliament might look under PR, assuming that everyone voted as they did on December 12.
John McDonnell calls
making the case for pr
The support of trade unionists is crucial to the success of our campaign to change the voting system.
LCER blog posts
READ our report:
invite a speaker
for your CLP or Trade Union meeting
We have a panel of speakers who are available to attend meetings all over the country.
If you would like to spark a discussion at a meeting of your local Labour Party or Trade Union, please contact us.
"I just wanted to let you know that our recent session on voting reform was one of the best debates we've had all year. The speaker was incredibly engaging and knowledgeable, and many members have told me how much they learned."
CLP secretary, Eastern Region
SUPPORT THE CAMPAIGN FOR PROPORTIONAL REPRESENTATION!
What's wrong with
Under FPTP, people living in safe seats know their vote will never make any difference - the election always hangs on a few voters in marginal seats. That's just plain wrong.
Are other voting systems any better than FPTP?
Across the world, most countries hold elections using proportional voting systems. Even in the UK, we use PR for elections to our Regional and London Assemblies.
Why must Labour take the lead on voting reform?
The Tories will never change the voting system - FPTP gives an inbuilt advantage to right-wing parties, because Labour voters tend to be concentrated in urban areas.