This report by the Labour Campaign for Electoral Reform and Make Votes Matter calls on Labour to commit to PR, setting out why PR is not only more democratic than First Past the Post, but that it is a crucial ingredient for the kind of fair and equal society the Labour Party says it wants to create.
The report includes a foreword signed by Cat Smith MP, Shadow Minister for Voter Engagement and Youth Affairs, Richard Burden MP, Shadow Minister for Transport, John Cruddas MP, Paul Flynn MP, Mary Honeyball MEP, Stephen Kinnock MP and Clive Lewis MP.
This follows an ICM poll commissioned by Make Votes Matter, which showed that 76% of Labour voters would support a commitment by the party to bring in PR, while only 5% would oppose it.
We also invite you to sign our open letter to Jeremy Corbyn and Theresa May, calling on them to back Proportional Representation.
Drawing on decades of research by political scientists, The Many, Not the Few has identified the following key findings:
- At least 80 per cent of OECD nations use some form of PR; this percentage is growing over time.
- PR enables better gender and BAME representation in politics; every country with more than 40% women in its main legislative chamber uses PR.
- Countries with proportional systems experience higher turnout and political engagement, and the world’s best performing democracies all use PR.
- PR enables progressive politics.
- PR will enable us to build a good society; evidence suggests a causal relationship between proportional voting systems and many progressive and socialist outcomes.
- There is a causal link between PR voting systems and low income inequality.
- Countries with PR are more likely to be welfare states, commit almost five per cent more to social expenditure, have higher scores on metrics of human development, and a more equitable distribution of public goods.
- Countries with PR have better environmental protections and more effective action on climate change.
- Proportional democracies outperform majoritarian democracies when it comes to decisiveness and long-term policy-making.
- Democracies with FPTP are significantly more likely to go to war.
Labour for PR campaign
You may be wondering why we have a section just for Labour on our website. The reason is that converting Labour to support PR is key to the campaign's success. All the other parties aside from the Tories are already part of the PR Alliance, so we don't need concerted campaigns to convince them of the case. We are developing a campaign to encourage Tories to support PR and will be adding a Tory section to the site in due course.
We teamed up with the Labour Campaign for Electoral Reform to deliver "the biggest gathering of Labour MPs in support of PR for a generation" at the last Autumn Conference, with MPs from across Labour's political spectrum uniting to call for PR. There's now a once in a generation opportunity for the Labour Party to support the introduction of Proportional Representation to the House of Commons.
This can only happen if ordinary Labour Party members, Constituency Labour Parties (CLPs) and affiliated organisations show their democratic support for adoption of PR as policy. Everyone has a role to play - and we're here to help.
What else can I do as a Labour Party member?
Join the Labour Campaign for Electoral Reform. LCER is open to all Labour Party members who support reform of the voting system, and launched a new website in April 2016!
Vote for the motion for PR on Labour Policy Forum, the Party's online policy development tool. This is already the most-voted for motion on the site. Log in using your party membership number and add your support! (Note: users have previously reported difficulty registering with the predecessor to this website - we hope the newly revamped site will work better, but let us know if not.)
Invite an expert speaker to your Constituency Labour Party (CLP) meeting to talk about PR (ASAP after the General Election). Get in touch with us, talk to a member of your CLP executive, and we can identify a speaker and fix up a date. This is a great way to start the discussion within your local party. We can provide speakers from Make Votes Matter, or suggest speakers from the Labour Campaign for Electoral Reform, the Electoral Reform Society, Compass, and other democracy organisations.
Submit a motion calling on Labour to adopt PR as policy through your CLP (ASAP after the General Election). We need as many CLPs as possible to show their support for proportional representation to place it firmly on the agenda by the time of this Autumn's conference. If you've already done this, get in touch and let us know about it!
Want to get in touch with the Labour activists leading this campaign? Send them an email.