In May 2015 our voting system, 'First Past the Post', gave the government a majority in the House of Commons, even though only 24.4% of the electorate voted for them. Meanwhile, one quarter of voters voted for either the Green Party, Liberal Democrats, or UKIP - three parties who now share 1.5% of seats between them. This was the worst outcome our electoral system has ever delivered, in terms of proportionality.
Our voting system is broken. The number of seats a party gets bears little relationship to the votes they receive. One party needed just 23,000 votes to win a seat, while another needed almost 4 million. Only a minority of voters have the power to affect the outcome of an election, which means most people have no say about who represents them.
Whichever party you support, if you have any sense of fairness you will see that this is clearly a deeply unjust system. This situation must not continue. We believe that our voting system should ensure:
- That those who are entitled to vote have a vote that counts, and counts equally – no matter who they vote for, or where they live;
- That the share of seats a party gets should closely reflect the share of votes the people give them.
We want Proportional Representation (PR) by 2021 at the latest.
You can also add your name to Owen's petition, which was the catalyst for this campaign. It was handed in to 10 Downing Street with other petitions for PR, now totaling over half a million signatures, by representatives of five of the parties who want PR.
We supposedly have a representative democracy, so let's demand that our MPs do their job and represent us. What's your MP's position on PR? Write to them and find out / let them know that you want PR, by 2021 at the latest. We've written a template letter for inspiration - please make sure you personalise to have a greater impact.
If you'd like to get more involved with the campaign you could join or set up a local group or if you'd like to help with the national campaign contact us and let us know what skills you could volunteer - anything from photography to legal advice or just helping out with a little bit of admin. You don't have to make a specific time commitment - we're all volunteer activists in the team and help out as and when we're able and want to.
This campaign belongs to you as much as it does to us. Please help us resource it, and make a donation - however much you can give will be greatly appreciated and will help us make sure we succeed in getting PR by 2021!
I'll close with my main message: take hope! The time is now for PR. Three quarters of the public want a more proportional system and there are eight pro-reform parties that have seats in Parliament. Even in Labour roughly half the MPs are now in favour of PR. A rainbow alliance from across the political spectrum is taking flight - together we will #MakeSeatsMatchVotes. Get involved and help us make votes matter!