Check where your union stands on PR and find a model motion
Look below to find out whether your union has a policy on Proportional Representation - and find our suggested model motion to table at your branch and send to your union’s conference. The text can be changed, added to or combined however you like…
Labour-affiliated unions that do not yet support PR
Aslef, Community, CWU, FBU, GMB, MU, Unison, Unite and Usdaw
Most of these unions have no formal position on PR. We suggest putting forward the following motion:
Conference notes that the UK is one of only three major developed countries to use a First Past the Post voting system for general elections. There is consensus among experts that First Past the Post has a strong right wing bias wherever it is used, leading to parliaments and governments that are on average much more right wing than the voters. This corresponds exactly with the UK’s experience. Most votes went to parties to the left of the Conservatives in 18 of the last 19 general elections, yet the Tories have been in power for 63% of this time. Instead of building a society “for the many”, this has created one of the most unequal societies in the developed world, with some of the most restrictive trade union laws. Conference believes we need a Labour government to reshape society in the interests of workers and our communities. But it is imperative to realise that the current voting system offers no protection against later Conservative governments tearing up these hard fought gains as they have in the past. The world’s most equal and progressive societies all use forms of Proportional Representation which prevent rule by a right-wing minority and lock in the hard-won victories of their Labour movements. The Labour Party has pledged to set up a constitutional convention to review “the way Britain works at a fundamental level”. Conference believes the convention cannot truly serve this purpose if it does not examine the voting system. Conference resolves to call for the Labour Party to include the voting system for general elections in the remit of its planned constitutional convention.
Unaffiliated unions with no policy on PR
BMA, Equity, NASUWT, NEU, Royal College of Nursing, RMT, and many more!
These unions have no formal position on PR. We suggest putting forward the following motion:
Conference notes that the UK is one of only three major developed countries to use a First Past the Post voting system for general elections. Most developed countries, including the world’s most equal and progressive societies, use a form of Proportional Representation in which all votes count equally and seats match votes. Conference believes that First Past the Post has not served the interests of progressive politics in the UK. It has too often gifted the Conservative Party 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 they have been in power for most of this time. Successive Conservative governments that could not have held office under a proportional system have attacked trade union rights and workers’ rights, public services and the welfare state. This has had devastating consequences for all who depend on these things and has made the UK one of the most unequal societies in the developed world. Furthermore, First Past the Post means that a small minority of voters decide the outcomes of elections, forcing political parties to focus their efforts on marginal constituencies to the neglect of the millions who live in safe seats. It is unacceptable for our democracy that there are constituencies that have not changed hands in one hundred years; in which people have been born, voted their whole lives, and died, without ever influencing the result of a general election. There are tried-and-tested forms of Proportional Representation which maintain a close constituency link between MPs and their voters, allow voters to vote for named candidates rather than just for parties, and do so while ensuring that Parliament reflects the people. Conference resolves to reject First Past the Post and support the introduction of a form of Proportional Representation.