The model motions below can be sent either to the 2019 Labour Party Conference or to the National Policy Forum (NPF). Conference motions should be sent to your CLP as soon as possible, while motions to the NPF can be submitted any time (the sooner the better). Once you have sent one of these to your CLP or branch secretary, please let us know by emailing labour4pr@makevotesmatter.org.uk.

Motions to 2019 conference (click to view)

+ Democratic socialism and the voting system

Conference notes:

  • That the Labour Party is a democratic socialist party, committed to the creation of a society in which wealth, power and opportunity are in the hands of the many, not the few.
  • That the UK is among the most unequal societies in the developed world, being the 4th worst in terms of both income equality and poverty gap of the 35 OECD nations.
  • That the UK is the only country in Europe to use a First Past the Post (FPTP) voting system for general elections.
  • That no other democratic socialist party in the developed world supports the use of FPTP for general elections.

Conference believes:

  • That democratic socialism is affirmed by the principle that the more democratic a society is, the more egalitarian, progressive and socialist it shall become.
  • That real democracy confers revolutionary power upon the people at the ballot box by ensuring that the interests of the many can override those of the privileged few.
  • That instead of empowering the many, FPTP has usually empowered a conservative minority by giving them a majority of seats in Parliament, despite most people voting for parties to the left of the Tories in 14 of the last 15 general elections.
  • That instead of this system, we need a form of Proportional Representation that ensures the progressive majority in the country is reflected by a progressive majority in Parliament.

Conference resolves:

  • That the Labour Party should lead the way towards the introduction of Proportional Representation for British general elections.

Word count (excluding title): 249

[If this motion is passed but not selected for Conference, we ask the CLP to send it to the Justice and Home Affairs Commission of the National Policy Forum]

+ Labour must become the party of democracy

  • Conference notes that the Labour Party have a proud history of fighting for representation for the most marginalised within society. Yet our support for the First Past The Post (FPTP) voting system flies in the face of this.
  • FPTP leaves voters disenfranchised and writes off entire safe seat communities whilst placing huge emphasis on a handful of marginals. This is bad for democracy, bad for ordinary people and creates the conditions in which voters look to duplicitous hard right parties for change.
  • Labour must become the party of democracy and fix the whole rotten system by introducing Proportional Representation. Countries that use PR have more equal societies, better environmental controls, more diverse parliaments including better representation for women and minority groups.
  • FPTP favours the right. We see a disproportionate amount of right wing governance despite the fact that most votes consistently go to parties to the left of the Conservatives.
  • These are unprecedented times: Trump in power in the US, a global environmental crisis just around the corner, an uncertain political future with Europe, a rising anger and dissatisfaction bubbling in the UK which gives influence to the far right. The Labour Party needs to listen to and counter this dissatisfaction by empowering voters. To do this, we must introduce Proportional Representation; it is the cornerstone of healing great divides and giving power back to the many.
  • Conference resolves that Labour must put Proportional Representation for general elections at the heart of our agenda for radical constitutional change.

Word count (excluding title): 249

[If this motion is passed but not selected for Conference, we ask the CLP to send it to the Justice and Home Affairs Commission of the National Policy Forum]

+ Electoral reform will restore trust in democracy

Conference notes:

  • That British politics is in a state of chaos, with a Conservative Government that is unable to govern and a Parliament that has been unable to make progress on the most important issues of the day.
  • That the British people have falling confidence in Parliament and our democratic process.
  • That the UK’s First Past the Post voting system curtails voter choice, makes millions of votes ineffective, and leaves millions feeling unrepresented by their local MP or by Parliament at large.

Conference believes:

  • That these factors have contributed to dangerous levels of distrust and disillusionment with our democratic process, with more than half of British voters saying in response to one recent poll they would support a “strong leader willing to break the rules”.
  • That it is essential that faith is restored in our democratic system and that the public see Parliament as fairly reflecting their views.
  • That our First Past the Post voting system is a significant barrier to restoring this faith and all but guarantees that the balance of opinion among the electorate is not reflected in Parliament.
  • That a system of Proportional Representation in which seats match votes and all votes count equally would help to rebuild public trust by ensuring that all political views are represented in Parliament in proportion to their level of public support.

Conference resolves:

  • That Labour must support the replacement of our First Past the Post voting system with a system of Proportional Representation.

Word count (excluding title): 243

[If this motion is passed but not selected for Conference, we ask the CLP to send it to the Justice and Home Affairs Commission of the National Policy Forum]


Motions to the National Policy Forum (click to view)

+ Standard motion text

(We suggest the following for inclusion in all motions and submissions to the National Policy Forum.)

___ Constituency / Branch Labour Party:

  • Calls upon the Labour Party to reject First Past the Post, the voting system currently used for General Elections, and to support the introduction of a form of Proportional Representation in which all votes count equally and seats match votes.
  • Calls upon the Justice and Home Affairs Policy Commission of the National Policy Forum to consult the party membership about their views on the above proposal in the next cycle of policy documents.

+ Detailed policy motion

___ Constituency / Branch Labour Party notes that:

  • The UK is one of only three major developed countries to use First Past the Post (FPTP) for general elections. Most developed countries use a form of Proportional Representation (PR), including the world’s most equal and progressive societies.
  • The Labour Party played a leading role in introducing forms of PR to the UK’s devolved parliaments and assemblies in Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland and London.
  • There are systems of PR that retain a strong constituency link between MPs and their electorates and allow voters to vote for candidates rather than just party lists, while ensuring that all votes count equally and seats match votes.
  • Labour has promised a constitutional convention once in government, but this has not prevented us from pre-empting it by committing to other constitutional reforms such as an elected upper chamber and votes at sixteen. Labour has not yet even promised that the convention will consider electoral reform.

___ Constituency / Branch Labour Party believes that:

  • FPTP has too often gifted the Conservatives a parliamentary majority despite having the support of only a modest minority of the electorate. In fourteen of the last fifteen general elections, most people have voted for parties to the left of the Conservatives, yet the Tories have been in power for most of this time.
  • This has had devastating consequences for the people the Labour Party represents. Attacks on the welfare state, public services and workers’ rights have been carried out by successive Conservative governments that could not have held office under a proportional system. This has contributed to making the UK one of the most unequal societies in the OECD.
  • FPTP means voter inequality: some people’s votes carry greater weight than others. This compels Labour to concentrate resources on marginal constituencies to the detriment of voters in safe seats. A voting system in which every vote counts equally, wherever it is cast, is needed to address the worrying levels of alienation, division and mistrust in British politics.
  • Some people have voted Labour in every election for their whole lives without ever being represented by a Labour MP. With PR, all Labour voters could expect to be represented by a Labour MP who reflect their views, concerns and values.

___ Constituency / Branch Labour Party therefore calls:

  • Upon Labour to reject FPTP and to support the introduction of a form of PR in which all votes count equally and seats match votes.
  • Upon the Justice and Home Affairs Policy Commission of the National Policy Forum to consult the party membership about their views on the above proposal in the next cycle of policy documents.

 

Renown left-wing economist calls Labour’s position on electoral reform “unsustainable”.