Open Letter - Labour must commit to Proportional Representation in their manifesto

Labour has published a report offering a wide programme of democratic reform if it wins the next general election. While calling for extended devolution and replacing the House of Lords with an elected second chamber is welcome, the report makes no recommendations for a radical overhaul of the UK’s outdated national electoral system. This is a missed opportunity for Labour to propose a package of reform that would transform our country. Without PR, democratic renewal is only half done.

This omission comes despite Labour members and affiliated unions voting for a motion in support of Proportional Representation in September. Labour must honour its promise by ensuring PR for the Commons manifesto. A half measures offer will not bring about the change this country desperately needs. Any programme for reforming our broken legislative system cannot end with the House of Lords - Labour must be bolder. 

First-past-the-post is a winner takes all system that has brought us 12 years of Tory failure. While more and more people are being pushed into poverty and millions are struggling with a cost of living crisis, the Conservative Government has wasted an estimated £64billion of public money while awarding lucrative public contracts to Tory party insiders. It is our outdated voting system that keeps the Conservatives in power with a minority of votes. If the share of seats matched the share of votes they received, the Conservatives would have only won 2 of the last 21 elections. Even Margaret Thatcher would have failed to secure a majority.

A better voting system means Labour is likely to be in government more often. We are calling on Labour's leadership to honour Conference's vote for a fairer voting system at this year’s Labour Party Conference and to put Proportional Representation in the next manifesto.

Demand the Labour Party puts electoral reform into its manifesto

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Demand the Labour Party puts electoral reform into its manifesto