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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
27th March 2015
Yesterday the views of Brits were unveiled to the world. And in some ways, they make for some startling reading.   The British Social Attitudes Survey – a renowned national study of voters’ opinions – was released on Thursday. It covers all sorts of issues on what citizens think. But a few things stood out for […]
24th March 2015
What is the best way for parties to share power? How can you make minority government work? And how do you negotiate a successful coalition?   These are some of the questions likely to be at the forefront of the party leaders’ minds over the next couple of months. As we near a General Election which is […]
23rd March 2015
What many already knew about the Lords has just been confirmed by academics. A new working paper from the University of Oxford’s Department of Economics puts it simply: the “relationship between donations and nominations [for peerages] has been found to be significant”.   The report has caused shockwaves. Entitled “Is There a Market for Peerages?…A Study in the Link Between Party […]