LCER Bonfire Night Briefing

This past week the House of Commons debated both Proportional Representation and Votes at 16. 

You can see the efforts of many Labour MPs in Westminster Hall on Monday 30 October, in a debate triggered by the 103,000 who signed the petition to make votes matter by adopting proportional representation for United Kingdom general elections.  You can read it here and you can see it here

We need to thank all the Labour MPs who turned up, spoke or intervened to show that the Conservative arguments are enough to persuade even the more reluctant Labour member that we need to change the voting System.  So thanks go to:  Paul Blomfield MP, LCER Chair, Jonathan Reynolds, Stephen Kinnock, LCER Vice Chairs, Tonia Antoniazzi  who spoke of the New Zealand support for their voting system, Mixed Member Proportional, Ben Bradshaw, Ruth Cadbury, Bambos  Charalambous, Thangam Debbonaire (who distinguished Alternative Vote, the basis of the 2011 Referendum from PR), David Drew, Susan Elan Jones, Sandy Martin, Rachael Maskell, Ian Murray, Alex Sobel, Wes Streeting, Paul Sweeney, Stephen Twigg, Martin Whitfield, Chris Williamson and Cat Smith who spoke concentrating on her brief, young people, but added that “we therefore welcome the opportunity to have a much needed discussion on the wider issue of electoral reform”.

Fresh from the successes of this year’s Labour conference, Make Votes Matter and LCER are rolling out our presence at regional conferences.  If you are a current member of the Labour Party and going to your regional conference as a delegate or visitor.  Let us know if you have some spare time volunteer to help on our stall or with our fringe.  Yesterday we had a fringe with Margaret Greenwood MP, Stephen Twigg MP and Julie Ward MEP on Voter Registration, Votes @ 16 and Changing the Voting System.  We are at the East of England conference the weekend of 17 to 19 November (contact John Doolan at, London conference on 26 November contact Joe Moore and Joe Sousek, and in Plymouth for South West conference we have Andy Burkitt, Mike Huggett and Mary Southcott (again contact via   We look forward to seeing you outside London or more correctly outside Westminster. 

Elections are coming GE2017 for the Electoral Reform Society.  Make Votes Matter and LCER put Jessica Garland, author of their GE2017 Report, on our platform at this year’s Conference in Brighton.  We hope to be working in a complementary way in the next year with them and with Unlock Democracy.  So it is not surprising that a number of the candidates for their council are Labour and not only Labour, LCER. Justina Cruickshank, Ken Ritchie, James Roberts, Joe Sousek and Owen Winter are standing for the LCER Executive, Stephen Curran has been active in Scotland for electoral reform and is a Scottish Representative on our LCER Directory, Annabelle Haule is on the National Policy Forum which will be an important element in our campaign this year and used to work for ERS in Wales.  Then there is Dermot McKibben who is alerting us all to the ID pilots which if rolled out will definitely discriminate against some potentially Labour voters.  And last but not least Dave Townsend. So 19 days to vote for them and others we have worked with and supported by from other parties like Keith Sharp.  And their AGM is in Birmingham on Saturday 2 December.

Keep those requests coming in for speakers coming, volunteer to be a speaker or request training in your patch, put a resolution to the National Policy Forum, or submit evidence to the Justine and Home Affairs Commission.  Read or watch the debate on PR on Monday 30 October, come to our stall and/or fringe meetings at regional conferences and keep 27 November free to attend our LCER Annual General Meeting.  We shall be compiling a new LCER Directory with our new Executive and if you want to be involved as a speaker or at conferences just ask and we will ensure you get a copy of The Many, Not the Few, Proportional Representation & Labour in the 21st Century and become an LCER Regional or National Representative.

Mary Southcott

0117 924 5139

077 125 11931


John Doolan