17 Jun 2015

Don't let fewer Welsh County Councils mean less democracy for Wales

Gallwch ddarllen y blog yma yn y Gymraeg. Today, Public Services Minister Leighton Andrews announces the new proposed map for Local Authorities in Wales, with plans to reduce the number of County Councils from 22 to 8 or 9. This follows the recent White Paper ‘Power to Local People’ which outlined ways to ensure communities had a say in decisions that affect them. Electoral Reform Society (ERS) […]
20 Mar 2015

A sectarian voting system

The announcement by the two main unionist parties in Northern Ireland that they have entered into an electoral pact for the up-coming general election highlights a major problem with our electoral system. The idea that parties step down in some seats to maximise their votes in others through an alliance with another party is a direct result of the outdated First Past the Post (FPTP) system. In […]
4 Mar 2015


I’m pleased to be going to Green Party conference at the ACC Liverpool this weekend, representing the ERS. Sign our petition to introduce proportional representation for local elections There’s lots to be discussed at the upcoming conference, as it’s an exciting time for the Greens in the run-up to the election, particularly with a rising membership. But the party has to deal with an extremely […]
25 Feb 2015

Democratising Devo Manc

The ERS has long campaigned for devolution to the local level, but the Society also campaigns for proportional representation at a local level. Here ERS Deputy Chief Executive Darren Hughes outlines why they should go hand in hand. Sign our petition for a fairer local voting system The decision by the government to devolve responsibility for health funding - around £6 billion - to Greater […]
4 Feb 2015

#MergerHeWrote: Leighton's Localism

In the first article of the ‘Merger, He Wrote’ series, Steve Brooks director of the Electoral Reform Society Cymru reflects on the Welsh Government’s new white paper on local democracy. For the last two decades, the story of Welsh devolution has been about the transfer of power from Westminster to Cardiff Bay. Little real thought was given to further devolution from Cardiff Bay to local councils […]
16 May 2014

38,000 denied a vote

Tens of thousands of people across England are being denied a vote in next week's local elections, owing to the undemocratic phenomenon of uncontested seats. In this year’s elections there are seven wards which are ‘uncontested’, ie which are only being contested by one political party. These uncontested wards are: Otmoor , Cherwell District Council (Conservative, Oxfordshire) Walton South , […]
29 Jan 2014

Towards One Nation

At the end of last year we published a report, Northern Blues , which made the case for a fairer voting system at the local level from the Conservative perspective. It had a real impact, convincing a range of previously sceptical Conservative commentators of the case for local electoral reform. Today we are publishing its corollary, Towards One Nation , the Labour case for local electoral reform […]
11 Nov 2013

Northern Blues

Today we are launching Northern Blues: the Conservative case for electoral reform . This is the first of two reports looking at the case for proportional representation (PR) in local elections from the point of view of the two biggest parties. Our aim with these reports is to show how PR could play out for Labour and the Conservatives in England and Wales, drawing insights from two sets of […]
18 Apr 2013

Do you live in a Rotten Borough?

With this year’s county council elections only a few weeks away, we’ve undertaken new analysis that has revealed the parlous state of local democracy in England and Wales. Evidence shows 21 million people are now living in the local government equivalent of ‘One Party States’ – with single parties holding undeserved supermajorities, and other parties incapable of providing viable opposition. One […]
10 Apr 2013

Why 32,000 people will be denied a vote in May

On Thursday 6 May, 27 county councils and 8 unitary authorities in England and Anglesey in Wales will hold elections. Sadly, they give us yet another example of the woeful state of local government. The Electoral Reform Society is determined to lead the debate on how we build a better local democracy in Britain. The reality is that much of what occurs at local authority level impacts on the day- […]