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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
18th December 2014
The traditional political parties are in big trouble. Back in the 1950s, one person in every ten was a member of a political party. Now, there are more people who identify their religion as ‘Jedi’ than there are members of the Conservative party, and almost the same number of Labour members.   The era of […]
16th December 2014
Today the Government presented a shopping list of solutions to the so-called West Lothian or English Question. The fact it is a shopping list demonstrates that even within the coalition they cannot agree on which solution is best.   But that’s not surprising – the chances of cross-party agreement on such a partisan issue are never going […]
12th December 2014
We were really pleased to join forces with Unlock Democracy yesterday and hand in our petition to the Prime Minister calling for a Constitutional Convention. It was signed by over 15,000 people, as well as a wide range of academics and civil society organisations.   The petition, which comes in advance of the Government’s expected […]