The movement for Proportional Representation is on the move!

The movement for Proportional Representation is on the move!

Just one in three people believe British democracy is worth celebrating, so when the government announced a “week-long celebration of democracy” the movement to make votes matter organised the the biggest mobilisation for Proportional Representation in living memory!

Find out what happened on the day, read media coverage of the campaign during “National Democracy Week” , and get involved in the next stage of the campaign for real democracy in the UK.

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Democracy for the many, not just the few: guest blog by René Bach and Stephen Clark

Democracy for the many, not just the few: guest blog by René Bach and Stephen Clark

This is a guest blog by René Bach and Stephen Clark. René is a Make Votes Matter local group leader from MVM South West London. Stephen is a Compass local group leader from West London Compass. Democracy For The Many, Not Just The Few was a Labour-focused event they jointly organised. It took place in Richmond on Monday 26th February 2018.

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The Conservative Case for Proportional Representation

The Conservative Case for Proportional Representation

Typically, electoral reform is not the prerogative of Conservatives. The mere threat of it was nearly a deal breaker during the 2010 coalition talks with the Liberal Democrats, and Cameron’s crack negotiating team were only leveraged into accepting a referendum on the Alternative Vote by the threat of letting Gordon Brown slink back into Downing Street...

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The affront to democracy that can no longer be ignored

The affront to democracy that can no longer be ignored

Last week’s reshuffle saw a notable departure. Chris Skidmore MP, Minister for the Constitution since Theresa May became Prime Minister in July 2016, was elevated to Vice-Chair of the Conservative Party and therefore left the role he had been in a year and a half.

His successor, Chloe Smith MP, takes up the role in a year that marks arguably the most momentous centenary in British democratic history: the passing of the Representation of the People Act 1918, which granted some women the right to vote for the first time.

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Alliance Building Conference 2017

Alliance Building Conference 2017

Back in October we held our second Alliance Building Conference (ABC), where activists and allies made plans in the wake of this year’s general election. Fifty attendees gathered in the Jubilee room in Parliament - including MPs, peers, local and national group leaders, and allied organisations.

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Make Votes Matter has its day in Parliament

Make Votes Matter has its day in Parliament

On Monday, Proportional Representation was finally back in Parliament, for the first full discussion of the issue in seven years.

The Westminster Hall debate was triggered by a government petition started over a year ago by Make Votes Matter co-founder Tim Ivorson, which gained over 103,495 signatures thanks to the work of diverse parties, organisations, activists and supporters.

Read on to find out what happened on the day, watch and share key moments of the debate and find out what happens next...

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Party conferences, popular events in City Halls and more support for PR

Party conferences, popular events in City Halls and more support for PR

On Tuesday we held our second Alliance Building Conference (ABC) to plan the next phase of the cross-party campaign for Proportional Representation. The ABC was the culmination of an unbelievably busy month and a half in which we visited six different party conferences. Keep reading to find out what we got up to, and if you haven’t already, please consider donating to our Crowdfunder to support this vital work.

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MPs will debate whether to Make Votes Matter!

MPs will debate whether to Make Votes Matter!

The petition for Proportional Representation has finally been scheduled for debate in Parliament, thanks to the work of organisations, parties and 103,495 individuals. Keep reading to find out how we all made it happen.

Tweet or email your MP to ask them to attend the debate on 30th October, listen to the arguments and back Proportional Representation for the UK!

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Here's how we'll win Proportional Representation

Here's how we'll win Proportional Representation

We have a rare opportunity - the kind that might only come once in a generation.

In 2022 - or whenever the next general election takes place - we can wake up to a government set on replacing First Past the Post with a system of Proportional Representation fit for a real democracy.

Or we can wake up to what we’re used to: a government determined to keep Parliament, representation and government out of the hands of the voters.

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Proportional Representation and outcomes

Women in politics

First Past the Post has been called "the world's worst voting system for achieving gender balance" in politics.  Just 32% of British MPs are women.

Numerous studies have found that countries with Proportional Representation produce a better gender balance. Every single country with more than 40% female MP in its primary legislature uses a proportional voting system.

gender balance in parliaments

Equal societies

Proportional Representation is not just better for democracy - it has also been found to lead to more equal societies. 

Studies have found that countries with proportional electoral systems have considerably lower income inequality than those with majoritarian systems like First Past the Post. Based on the evidence, political scientists have concluded that there is a causal relationship at work: countries with PR "tend to reduce income inequalities whereas majoritarian institutions have the opposite effect” and that when the degree of proportionality of a system increases, income inequality decreases. Analysis has found these effects to be highly significant, with PR accounting for 51% of the variance of income inequality among countries.

sharing income equality.png

Countries with PR also tend to have a more equal distribution of public goods. A 2009 study  found that PR countries garnered higher scores on the United Nations Index of Human Development, described as “a reasonable overall indicator of government performance in the delivery of public goods and human welfare."


Turnout and satisfaction with democracy

It is well established that Proportional Representation leads to increased voter turnout - for reasons that are obvious considering that most votes under First Past the Post are wasted. Several studies found the average increase in turnout for an election held under PR rather than FPTP to be 5-8%. Actual global turnout statistics from 1945 and 2002 to calculate that list PR turnouts are 6% higher than FPTP, while Single Transferable Vote turnouts have been 13% higher than those in FPTP systems.

sharing turnout.png

Academics have also found that countries with Proportional Representation have:

  • Government policies that are closer to the view of the median voter.
  • Citizens who are more satisfied with the performance of their countries’ democratic institutions, even when the party they voted for was not in power.
  • Higher performance on measures of political participation and civil liberties.

#GE2017 from a Green perspective: guest blog by Reece Stafferton

The results of the 2015 General Election were appalling – the most unbalanced in history – out of 650 winning candidates, 322 received fewer than 50% which amassed over many constituencies. Such an imbalance can be seen in UKIP’s vote share. They received fewer than 4 million votes but gained one MP. In Northern Ireland, the DUP got 8 seats at over 184,000 votes. Together the key minor parties - Greens, Lib Dems, and UKIP - got just 10 seats.

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#GE2017 dissected

#GE2017 dissected

A week on from our third General Election in seven years, we've taken a detailed look at the results, and their implications for our creaking voting system. What emerges is a picture of a broken system that distorts votes, distorts seats and distorts our politics.

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First Past the Post is finished

First Past the Post is finished

The General Election results are in and - inevitably - they are a democratic outrage. While the vast majority of democracies are governed by parliaments that reflect their voters, the UK will continue to be run by politicians who do not represent the people... for now.

We'll be providing detailed analysis over the next couple of days. In the meantime, see below for some of the headlines - and sign up to attend our demonstration and action summit to plan and bring about the end of First Past the Post on Saturday 24th June - #SaveOurDemocracy.

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Do your candidates want fair votes? See our final #GE2017 map for their views on PR

Do your candidates want fair votes? See our final #GE2017 map for their views on PR

It's almost over - and together, in very little time, we've built a good overview of where the General Election candidates stand on Proportional Representation.

Huge thanks to Democracy Club, the Labour Campaign for Electoral Reform, the Electoral Reform Society and thousands upon thousands of you who have emailed, tweeted at and spoken to your Parliamentary candidates to get this data together.

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Fighting for fair votes in the marginals: alliances, spoiler effects and tactical voting

Fighting for fair votes in the marginals: alliances, spoiler effects and tactical voting

One of the worst effects of Proportional Representation is the way it divides the country up into places where votes matter, and places where they do not.

On the one hand, there are safe seats. There are so many of them that vast electoral deserts now extend across much of the UK - where little campaigning takes place and the outcome is a foregone conclusion. 

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