Campaigning for Labour to back proportional representation

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  • 10 Dec 2018 09:55 | LCER

    Last week, the new Labour Campaign for Electoral Reform Executive chose Paul Blomfield MP to lead Labour Electoral Reformers into 2019.  
    The new elected and Coopted Executive comprises: Paul Blomfield MP, Andy Burkitt (Treasurer), Mary Curran (North West), Benj Eckford (North East), Billy Hayes (Trade Unions), Euan Healey (Twitter Manager, Scotland), Mary Honeyball MEP, Maria Iacovou (Membership, East of England), Graham Lane (London), Ruth Lister (House of Lords), Ken Ritchie (East Midlands), Joe Sousek (South West, Make Votes Matter), Jane Speller (Yorkshire & Humber), Bill Taylor (Facebook), Monica Threlfall (London), Owen Winter (Youth Officer).  John Doolan (Administrative Coordinator) and Mary Southcott (Parliamentary & Political Officer) were reappointed. 
    Further cooptions will be made to ensure the representation of each region and nations to include the South East (once the predominant region supporting PR outside London), Wales and the West Midlands.  If you would like to be considered for cooption particularly if you are living in one of the three just mentioned, please contact John or Mary.  

    This week, on Tuesday 11 December, the movement for Proportional Representation are lobbying Parliament, calling for MPs to back what they call fair votes.  It is the day that the Commons were supposed to vote on the Prime Minister's plan for Brexit which can of course be linked with our corrupt and outdated voting system, where most votes do not matter.  You can support or join, see details here:  

    Make Votes Matter - People's Lobby for Proportional Representation - Proportional Representation
    Join us as we descend on Westminster to demand fair votes! On Tuesday 11th December, the movement for Proportional Representation will lobby Parliament, calling on our MPs to back fair votes.

    If you cannot attend there is something that everyone can do.  
    You can hold a meeting to discuss electoral reform in your branch, constituency, trade union, Labour club or women's forum.  It is often the best meeting because it goes to the heart of what we mean by democracy.  
    You can invite a speaker around which to build an event.  We look forward to your request. 

    You can be trained to be a speaker and do events yourself. Ask us. 
    You can let us know of events coming up in your area especially ones you are attending which deal with this and allied issues.  

    Last but by no means least, you can join LCER and help support our appearances at conferences and other events and even hold fundraising events.    

  • 3 Nov 2018 15:00 | LCER

    On Saturday 3rd November there were regional conferences in Blackpool, Labour North West, and Southampton, Labour South East.  Make Votes Matter and LCER attended in the South East and held the fringe meeting What Proportional Representative would mean for the South East: A First Time Labour MP for Surrey? with Ann Black, Peter Chowney (PPC Hastings & Rye) and Joe Sousek (Make Votes Matter).  

    Please Watch our New Video

    Together with LCER Member and filmmaker Tony Price, we have put together a short film with several Labour politicians who are in favour of Electoral Reform.  You can watch it here.

    What to do at the margins? A new Progressive Alliance?

    LCER was against the withdrawal of Labour candidates suggested by the Progressive Alliance, and wished that the emphasis would have focused on the support of candidates who supported electoral reform where there was a clear choice.  Most of the problems of voting and the need for tactical voting are inherent in the current voting system. 

    We were however grateful to the information their campaign gave voters about how to vote to remove Conservative incumbents.  Meantime in those very same marginals, LCER encouraged Labour candidates to emphasise their support of electoral reform in their leaflets, blogs, facebook, websites, tweet, hustings and in doorstep contact. 

    Support of electoral reform indicates an understanding of the need to change politics and a willingness to listen to and work with others.  Recognising that our politics is broken, Labour wants to set up a constitutional convention.  After the fiasco which is Brexit, we need a new deal for democracy.  But with no direction on electoral reform?  Labour’s default position, and many of the affiliated trade unions too, is first past the post as we found at Annual Conference in the reference back.  Chris Williamson MP told our fringe meeting in Liverpool to keep our eyes on the prize. 

    So if your PPC, Labour prospective Parliamentary candidate, is chosen, find out their position, put us in contact, wish them luck and ask how we can help their campaign.  Just email us with any information to

    But if you want to know more about the experience during the 2017 you could read the following: A New Way of Doing Politics: Working Together To Challenge a ‘safe’ Tory seat which you can order for £12 by sending email to  You can also read more in All Together NOW: The Progressive Alliance and the 2017 General Election by Barry Langford, Biteback Publishing, ISBN 978-1-78590-286-4. 

    Elections to our LCER Executive Committee

    You may have noticed if you are a paid up member of LCER that we are running our Executive elections.  If you have not received a ballot, tell us and we will check this out.  Only paid up members of LCER can vote.  Please check out the candidates at  and do vote. 

    This great bunch of people reflects the profile of our membership, geographically and age profile.  Recently we have tried to change the arguments from simple mathematical to political culture in an effort to attract more women.  We need to thank  both Justina Cruickshank and James Roberts who have worked on our Executive this year but stood down.  We hope they will continue to take up speaking engagements and have kept them on our LCER Directory. 

    Most of our Executive double up at the many speaking engagements we are engaged on, particularly now in safe Labour seats and Marginals, but wherever you live just ask and we can find someone.  From the feedback people really enjoy the discussion.  Just send us a request to supply a speaker to  

    Our latest success was in Bristol West, where the vote was overwhelming, with three against and two abstentions, after Billy Hayes, our LCER trade union officer, has addressed the issue for the Politics for the Many ( working with trade unions, particularly the largest affiliated trade unions, GMB, UNISON and UNITE, and Joe Sousek, LCER and Make Votes Matter, who had taken the Clifton & Hotwells motion to the Constituency meeting.  Thank you Labour members in Clifton/Hotwells and those who spoke in the debate about democracy as a principle and the end of electoralism. 

    Events coming up

    6 November: Watch for the voter suppression, low turnout and how the first past the post voting system works, or not, in the Mid Term USA Elections. 

    12 November midnight: End of voting for the LCER Executive.   

    Our AGM is on Monday 19 November: We welcome more people to become members of course as we are all volunteers and there is much work to be done.  Do come to our Annual General Meeting whether a member or not to join in our discussion on the way forward. 

    1 December: The Electoral Reform Society (ERS) has their annual conference and AGM at the Coin Street Neighbourhood Centre, London. 

    The Make Votes Matter Lobby, People for Proportional Representation, is in Westminster on 11 December


    February Women's Conference in Telford – let us know if you are going?

    Any regional and national conferences being held?  

    What do we do about the trade unions – if you are a trade unionist let us know which – and whether you will be going – and we will try and go too. 

    Let’s work together to try and persuade those running the relevant Commission, Justice and Home Affairs, (and Shadow Cabinet Office) which translates as

    That we need to consult the Labour members particularly as our recent experience in all the places we have visited have majorities for change.  Next year we can put resolutions to conference so make sure you discuss and decide something on our outdated voting system.   

    So our New Year wish is for an official consultation leading to more involvement, more meetings, more recognition of the change that has been undergone in the Party, and more candidates and MPs and Peers, Mayors and councillors in favour of reform.  And you of course. 

    Go for it!

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The Guardian View on Labour and PR: Fix a flawed system

The Guardian, 19 Jul 2020

UK voter ID plan disenfranchises the poor, appeal court told

The Guardian, 23 Apr 2020

Labour has it all to play for at the next election

The Guardian, 21 Apr 2020

Now more than ever, we need to drag parliament into the modern age

Darren Hughes, LabourList, 8 Apr 2020

Next Labour leader should back sweeping electoral reforms, Greens say

The Guardian, 3 Apr 2020

Government abandons boundary shakeup to cut number of MPs to 600

The Independent, 26 Mar 2020

Bringing together a divided nation

Letters, The Guardian, 3 Mar 2020

A Labour-Lib Dem pact and the need for reform

Letters, The Guardian, 2 Mar 2020

Millions being ignored by ‘morally and politically bankrupt’ UK voting system, new report claims

Ashley Cowburn, Independent, 2 Mar 2020

Exclusive: Keir Starmer vows to consult Labour members on electoral reform

Sienna Rodgers, LabourList, 28 Feb 2020

We need to talk about electoral reform

Dawn Butler, LabourList, 20 Feb 2020

Former top judge calls for fundamental review of politics post-Brexit

Owen Bowcott, The Guardian, 4 Feb 2020

Labour leadership candidates urged to back electoral reform

Peter Walker, The Guardian, 3 Feb 2020

Any Questions? Bell Ribeiro-Addy MP, Ken Clarke, Richard Holden MP, Lord Mann

BBC Radio 4, 31 Jan 2020 (22 minutes in)

The first task of Labour’s new leader will be to overhaul democracy in the UK

Adam Ramsay, The Guardian, 29 Jan 2020

Leadership candidates challenged to back electoral reform

Sienna Rodgers, LabourList, 24 Jan 2020

MPs call for unlimited fines for those who breach electoral law

Mark Townsend, The Observer, 18 Jan 2020

History is clear: Labour must lead an alliance for democratic reform

Jeremy Gilbert, openDemocracy, 18 Jan 2020

Electoral reform and making every vote count

Letters, The Guardian, 15 Jan 2020

Jess Phillips calls for citizens’ assembly to tackle climate crisis

Heather Stewart, The Guardian, 14 Jan 2020

My six-point plan to restore trust in politics

Jess Phillips, The Guardian, 14 Jan 2020

Labour's leadership contest will be a chance to seal electoral reform in Britain

Polly Toynbee, The Guardian, 13 Jan 2020

The Guardian view on electoral reform: an argument Labour needs to have

Editorial, The Guardian, 12 Jan 2020

Will Labour's leader finally break with first-past-the-post?

Anthony Barnett, LabourList, 10 Jan 2020

Clive Lewis says Labour should consider referendum on the royal family

Peter Walker, The Guardian, 10 Jan 2020

Labour and Proportional Representation

Anthony Barnett, Compass, 9 Jan 2020

First-past-the-post system breeds cynical and disaffected voters

Letters, The Guardian, 8 Jan 2020

Clive Lewis: to beat Tories, Labour has to work with other progressives

Heather Stewart, The Guardian, 7 Jan 2020

Senior Labour figures plan move to back electoral reform after general election fiasco

Nigel Morris, The i, 30 Dec 2019

Labour has gambled on first-past-the-post for too long

Joe Sousek, LabourList, 20 Dec 2019

Three-quarters of Labour members want party to back proportional representation

Jon Stone, The Independent, 17 Dec 2019

Hung parliament and 70 Lib Dem MPs: what the election result would have been under PR

Adam Forrest, The Independent, 14 Dec 2019

Here's what the UK parliament would look like under proportional representation

Natasha Frost, Quartz, 13 Dec 2019

Small parties urged to make proportional representation a red line for any coalition

Jon Stone, The Independent, 10 Dec 2019

It’s time for real change – and that means real change to our democracy

Clive Lewis, LabourList, 8 Dec 2019

Our voting system needs a shake-up: give us PR

Theo Morgan, Westminster Extra, 8 Dec 2019

We need to talk about electoral reform

Theo Morgan, Morning Star, 6 Dec 2019

Labour must change the rules of the game – and back electoral reform

Theo Morgan, LabourList, 15 Nov 2019

Labour must embrace radical electoral reform

Letters, The Guardian, 14 Nov 2019

Labour should fight for electoral reform

Letters, The Guardian,  7 Nov 2019

Britain is divided. That’s why we need a hung parliament again

Polly Toynbee, The Guardian  4 Nov 2019

What Canada can learn from New Zealand on electoral reform

Dominic O'Sullivan, The Conversation, 29 Oct 2019

David Miliband: Brexit is wrecking British democracy

Patrick Wintour, The Guardian, 24 Oct 2019

Our voting system needs reform - not photo ID

Letters, The Guardian, 16 Oct 2019

Amber Rudd calls for proportional voting system to be discussed

Peter Walker, The Guardian, 11 Sep 2019

Today Programme: Puzzle #559

Puzzle set by YouGov's Peter Kellner on the Today Programme, 3 Sep 2019

Changing voting to vote for change

Daniel Goldstraw, The Overtake, 5 Aug 2019

For fairness vote against first past the post elections

Stephen Kinnock, The Times, 2 Jul 2019

Our archaic First-Past-The-Post system is alarmingly unfit for a multi-party age

Andrew Rawnsley, The Guardian, 9 Jun 2019

The European elections proved the need to reform Britain's voting system

Willie Sullivan,, 29 May 2019

We're led by a party not fit for power in a system not fit for purpose

Gary Younge, The Guardian, 29 Mar 2019

The "Winner Takes it All" mentality of First Past the Post has supercharged Brexit's toxicity
Mark Thompson, New Statesman America, 21 Feb 2019

Once Brexit is over, what’s left? A two-party system that kills optimism
Polly Toynbee, The Guardian, 21 Feb 2019

The Independent Group won’t succeed unless it supports electoral reform – here’s why

Joe Sousek, The Independent, 21 Feb 2019

The Independent Group will only succeed if PR is their central policy

Catherine Mayer, The Guardian, 20 Feb 2019

Why is the Labour Party machine ignoring members on voting reform?

Owen Winter, LabourList, 20 Sep 2018

Labour under pressure to back electoral reform

Tom Guha, LabourList, 23 Aug 2018

The most stable, successful nations in the world have PR, so why can’t we?

Letters, The Guardian, 28 Jun 2018

First Past the Post leaves UK elections uniquely vulnerable to data hijack
Brian Eno, The Guardian, 6 Apr 2018

Why Labour Should Support PR

Editorial, The Clarion, 7 Mar 2018

Britain's ‘absurd’ voting system could see the Tories win an election without a popular mandate

Lamiat Sabin, Morning Star, 6 Mar 2018

7 reasons why proportional representation is a feminist issue
Amelia Womack, New Statesman, 6 Feb 2018

Ditching First Past the Post really would be "taking back control"
Phil McDuff, The Guardian, 1 Aug 2017

Here's what the UK electoral map would look like with proportional representation

Louis Dore, Indy 100, 11 Jun 2017

Labour supporters queue around the block to hear about proportional representation
Jon Stone, The Independent, 28 Sep 2016

Proportional representation: the pledge that would guarantee a Labour landslide in May

Alan Martin, New Statesman, 28 Jan 2015


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