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The campaign for a better democracy
For over 100 years we've been leading the campaign for a better democracy
Our history

For over 100 years the Electoral Reform Society has been fighting for fairer votes and a better democracy.

When we were founded in 1884 it was already clear that our political system
was failing to rise to the challenges presented by an emerging modern Britain.

First known as the Proportional Representation Society, the Society was established in 1884 by the Victorian naturalist, archaeologist and polymath Sir John Lubbock to bring likeminded people to the cause of fair votes.

I trust that Great Britain, the mother of Parliaments, may once more take the lead among the great nations of the world by securing for herself a House of Commons which shall really represent the nation.
Society founder Sir John Lubbock, 1884

First gathering at 7 Clarges Street, Westminster, the group quickly snowballed, its founding members drawn from academia, the legal profession and 180 MPs, drawn in equal numbers from the Liberal and Conservative parties.

They were quickly joined by leading luminaries including C.P. Scott, editor of the Manchester Guardian (now The Guardian), the Rev. Charles Dodgson (better known as Lewis Carroll), and Thomas Hare (the inventor of the Single Transferable Vote).

Since then we have been at the forefront of political change, and
remain the world’s oldest organisation concerned with elections and political
reform, recognised by the United Nations for over 30 years.

From securing fair votes in Scottish local government to exposing the
accident waiting to happen that was the Police and Crime Commissioner Elections, we have put voters first, highlighted problems and offered
common sense solutions.

We know that every year that passes with our steam age political system
still in place is a missed opportunity for the people of Britain. Our vision is a representative democracy fit for the 21st century.


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Recent News
30th January 2015
This is a guest post by Plaid Cymru Assembly Member Simon Thomas, discussing his recent speech on young people and democracy for ERS Cymru. The views, opinions and positions expressed within are those of the author alone and do not represent those of the Electoral Reform Society.   I was 15 when the first referendum on […]
26th January 2015
Much excitement in the European press today as Greece’s left-wing, Eurosceptic and anti-austerity Syriza has come two seats short of an absolute majority in the Greek parliamentary election, allowing them to form a coalition with the right-wing, Eurosceptic Independent Greeks. Yet Syriza won only 36.3% of the vote, giving them 49.7% of the seats. And […]
22nd January 2015
Today’s publication of draft legislation to devolve powers to Scotland makes the case for a UK-wide, citizen-led Constitutional Convention ever more pressing.   All the parties vowed to devolve more powers to Scotland, and no one is suggesting this should be delayed. But ultimately, today’s announcement raises more questions than it answers. These new powers […]