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Electoral Reform

(79 Posts)
varian Tue 20-Sep-22 19:45:44

At next week's Labour Party conference it is possible that the party policy might become a change to using Proportional Representation for our parliamentary elections. If so it could be the first step in the UK becoming a true democracy.

varian Thu 22-Sep-22 14:15:33

At least 140 local Labour parties have backed conference motions calling for Labour to support a switch to a proportionally representative electoral system, making it the most popular issue among local parties for the second year running.

Campaigners from Labour for a New Democracy (L4ND) said they welcomed the “continued and growing demand” for electoral reform within the party. 370 Constituency Labour Parties (CLPs) – about 60% of the total number – have now formally passed policy in favour of PR.

L4ND encouraged local Labour Parties to submit their motion on PR to conference, which seeks to commit Labour to introducing PR for general elections. The motion received the backing of both Momentum and Open Labour.

A similar motion proposed by L4ND at last year’s conference was rejected despite being supported by close to 80% of CLP delegates, as 95% of trade union delegates voted against.

Unite and UNISON – the UK’s two largest unions – have both since backed electoral reform, joining other Labour-affiliated unions including ASLEF and the TSSA.

varian Thu 22-Sep-22 15:04:23

Sir Keir Starmer is facing a wave of pressure from within the Labour party to back electoral reform for UK general elections, with more than 100 delegations set to issue motions at this weekend’s party conference in Liverpool.

Last year the Labour leader’s team saw off an attempt to force the party into backing proportional representation, or PR, despite more than 80 per cent of local party delegates supporting an end to the current “first past the post” voting system in Britain.

The motion from 150 constituency Labour parties (CLPs) was defeated after opposition from several of the party’s large affiliated trade unions. This year, however, some of the biggest unions have indicated they would support a similar proposal for the party to back PR.

One aide to Starmer said he was “relaxed on electoral reform” if that was something the conference wanted to discuss.

Mamardoit Thu 22-Sep-22 15:48:02


The narrow majority for Leave in the EU referendum was brought about by lies, cheating and roreign interference and the vote would have been annulled had it been mandatory.

In a true democracy a major constitutional reform would always require a supermajority. Brexit was inflicted upon us by a minority of the electorate. David Cameron has a lot to answer for.

One thing we do agree on is that David Cameron has a lot to answer for. What a pity it was Nick Clegg who handed him the keys of number 10. The Lib Dems had the best chance yet of getting PR and they cocked it up.

We need compulsory voting at GE (with a none of the above box), and postal voting only for those who really need it. A postal vote shouldn't be a choice for those who can get to the polling station. Personally I think we should have to show ID to vote too.

Mamardoit Thu 22-Sep-22 15:54:01


But if you spoil your ballot paper you aren't actually voting; you are abstaining.

Yes but those votes are still counted. I spoilt my ballot at the last GE. I only had three choices Con, Lab, LibDem........I couldn't bring myself to vote for any of them.

One would give me Boris, one doesn't know if a woman has a penis, and the other was the LibDem.

Mamardoit Thu 22-Sep-22 16:00:14

Sorry how could I forget the would be Labour leader at the 2019 GE!

varian Mon 26-Sep-22 18:53:25

"Labour conference votes to put pledge to introduce PR in manifesto - despite Starmer already ruling it out
The proportional representation motion has been carried.

There is quite loud cheering – even though Keir Starmer has said he will ignore the vote, and not include PR in the Labour manifesto.

The motion says:

Labour must make a commitment to introduce proportional representation for general elections in the next manifesto.

During his first term in office the next Labour government must change the voting system for general elections to a form of PR.

Labour should convene an open and inclusive process to decide the specific proportional voting system it will introduce.

There is a long history of Labour leaders ignoring conference votes they don’t like – even though conference is supposedly meant to be the supreme policy making body in the party.

But that does not mean votes of this kind are always pointless. Opinion on policy shifts over time, and at the very least this makes the case for PR harder to ignore."

varian Mon 26-Sep-22 18:55:12


It won’t happen.

It just did

Whitewavemark2 Mon 26-Sep-22 18:56:34

And it is going to be included in the manifesto.

Oh joy!

Casdon Mon 26-Sep-22 19:19:08


And it is going to be included in the manifesto.

Oh joy!

Based on what I’ve heard so far, including on the BBC Wales News where they played an interview with Mark Drakeford, it sounds like a form of proportional representation is what is being supported, not a full blown PR system for all seats? I’d be keen to see any detail if it’s available yet?

Mamardoit Tue 27-Sep-22 09:53:31



It won’t happen.

It just did

It will only happen if the PM wants it to. Is Keir Starmer a supporter of PR? Lots of things get into party's manifestos but no further.

I do understand why people think PR is a good idea but surely in the recent past the likes of Nigel Fararge would have been in government. A Tory/UKip government maybe. We had the Nick and Dave show so anything is possible.

MaizieD Tue 27-Sep-22 10:12:08

A Tory/UKip government maybe.

We have a tory/UKip government right now anyway.

Had UKIP gained a few seats under PR, way back pre Brexit they would have been a minority and not particularly influential. Better to have had that, I think, than our current tory government swinging to the far right and shorn of its 'traditional' tory MPs.

Mamardoit Tue 27-Sep-22 10:50:34

I think you are clutching at straws there MaizieD......We have a tory government. Labour are trying to claw back voters. Who would have thought the union flag and GSTK with all the front bench signing along. Hope they give a rousing rendition of the Red Flag too.

It is almost inconceivable that we will ever have a far left government while we have a UK, but a far right government is always on the cards. People do say one thing in public and tick a different box in private. I really didn't believe it when MrsT won her final GE. Very few openly admitted to voting for her but many obviously did

I still think a good start would be making voting compulsory in a GE.

Ilovecheese Tue 27-Sep-22 10:58:26

If Keir Starmer doesn't want it, it is unlikely to happen no matter how popular it is.

Normandygirl Tue 27-Sep-22 11:10:56


^A Tory/UKip government maybe.^

We have a tory/UKip government right now anyway.

Had UKIP gained a few seats under PR, way back pre Brexit they would have been a minority and not particularly influential. Better to have had that, I think, than our current tory government swinging to the far right and shorn of its 'traditional' tory MPs.

I agree MaizieD Under a PR system UKIP would have won @8 seats, not enough to wield significant power.

Katie59 Tue 27-Sep-22 11:39:44

Compulsory voting, yes, PR No because it results in unstable governments and small extreme parties have disproportionate influence, like the extreme religious groups in Israel, even a party with 1 or 2 seats can change a policy.

We have seen how coalitions have been difficult recently in the UK, but I guess Labour supporters see it as their best chance of getting into power.

M0nica Tue 27-Sep-22 11:40:55

Compulsory voting, and I stop voting. I have discussed why further up the thread.

Katie59 Tue 27-Sep-22 11:43:16


By accepting the ballot paper and spoiling it you are acquiescing with a system that says you must mark or submit a voting paper in some form.

I would simply refuse to engage with the voting system in any way.

If you lived in Australia you would pay the fine for the privilege of not voting, your choice.

Mamardoit Tue 27-Sep-22 13:19:19

I spoilt my ballot at the last GE.

I wrote a little ditty for the LibDem candidate in the hope that they would read it. I was hoping someone would come canvassing so I could express my views in person. Sadly only the tory bothered with so much as a leaflet.

Caleo Tue 27-Sep-22 13:24:02

I hope I see proportional representation before I die. How may I add my very slight support to the cause of proportional repesentation?

varian Tue 27-Sep-22 13:28:25

Support the Electoral Reform Society

M0nica Tue 27-Sep-22 13:40:26

Yes, Katie59 I have always been willing to stand up for my principles and take any flak that comes as a result.

varian Thu 29-Sep-22 16:02:29

"Keir Starmer: we won't let you ignore the demand for Proportional Representation

The British public has been demanding Proportional Representation for years. Support from voters is the highest it has ever been, including having doubled among Labour voters.

Thousands campaign for it every year. From First Ministers Mark Drakeford and Nicola Sturgeon, mayors Andy Burnham and Sadiq Khan, to grassroots activists up and down the country. Every major party in Great Britain other than Labour and the Conservatives promised it at the last election.

Now, Labour is a big step closer to joining us. Labour Conference has now passed a motion calling for Proportional Representation. This is an historic moment.

But you said this is "not a priority". Without your support there is no guarantee that Labour will introduce Proportional Representation after the next election. But we are not going away. We will not allow Proportional Representation to be kicked into the long grass.

We want you to take up the torch of electoral reform. We want a manifesto commitment for Proportional Representation. However we vote, all of us want to cast our next vote for a party that commits to PR in its manifesto.

We are closer than ever to achieving equal votes. Will you join us?"

Mollygo Thu 29-Sep-22 16:16:44

It’s disappointing to see that the first time so many members of a political party are calling for PR, their leader doesn’t support it and can veto it at will.

Casdon Thu 29-Sep-22 18:23:38

Why are you disappointed Mollygo, he has ruled out supporting electoral reform in the next manifesto, but has not said it is off the table for future manifestos? When you consider the huge and complex agenda a Labour Government will face, potentially within the next year, I understand his rationale because there are very pressing issues which have to take priority.

Mollygo Thu 29-Sep-22 18:33:22

Casdon, The things I’m constantly reading about on GN- e.g. PR, being willing to say that a woman is an AHF are all unimportant in the great scheme of things except on GN then. Thanks for letting me know.