This Wednesday, MPs had their first chance in years to discuss proportional representation in the House of Commons. Sadly, they voted not to allow the Proportional Representation Bill to go forward – a huge shame, but not a great surprise.
In the chamber, Jonathan Reynolds MP who proposed the Bill spoke on behalf of the 6,000 people who wrote to their MPs, the 500,000 who signed petitions this May and the tens of millions whose votes were wasted by First Past the Post this year at the General Election. He spoke up on behalf of the 57% of the public who think seats should match votes. And he did an excellent job.
This is a speech that we think everyone needs to hear. The full transcript will be on our blog this weekend, but you can watch it here for now – so far it’s been watched on Facebook by over 80,000 people:
29 MPs from six parties voted in favour of the Proportional Representation Bill. They have our thanks and congratulations – so here’s the roll of honour:
Graham Allen, Kevin Barron, Ben Bradshaw, Tom Brake, Richard Burden, Alistair Carmichael, Douglas Carswell, Stella Creasy, Jon Cruddas, Geraint Davies, Jim Dowd, Mark Durkan, Jonathan Edwards, Paul Flynn, Dame Margaret Hodge, Norman Lamb, Caroline Lucas, Fiona Mactaggart, Greg Mulholland, Jonathan Reynolds, Margaret Ritchie, Liz Saville Roberts, Andrew Smith, Wes Streeting, Stephen Twigg, Chuka Umunna, Mark Williams, Helen Goodman (teller), Daniel Zeichner (teller).
It has been really useful to find out which MPs supported and opposed the Bill. Moreover, responses from Parliamentarians to the over 6,000 emails which supporters sent were an incredibly useful information-gathering exercise, and one that will greatly improve our Parliamentary campaigning work – we had well over a hundred responses from MPs.
2016 will be an incredibly busy year for the ERS, with every voter getting a chance to vote on something – from Police and Crime Commissioners to local councils, the London and Welsh Assemblies and the Scottish Parliament. Many of these elections will be using relatively proportional voting systems – and we’ll be using that to continue to build the case for PR in the New Year.
The campaign goes on!