The Lakeman Fellowship for Diversity in Politics

Inspired by our history, building for our future

Enid Lakeman, OBE, dedicated her life to the cause of fair votes and came to dominate the history of the Society in the twentieth century. We created the Lakeman Fellowship in her honour.

The Lakeman Fellowship for Diversity in Politics is a unique work and training opportunity for those under-represented in UK politics. This year long paid placement aims to provide tailored support to someone who has a passion for politics, particularly those from ethnic minority and working class backgrounds.

The scheme is fully funded by the generous donations of our members and supporters, and we are excited to be able to continue this scheme into 2022. We want to ensure that we can continue to offer these opportunities into the future, and you can help make this possible.

If you would like to help us continue this opportunity into the future, you can give a one-off donation towards our work.

Donate to the ERS and support the Lakeman Fellowship

"I’m someone who didn’t do especially well at school, I got my GCSE’s and then went to do an apprenticeship. While politics has interested me for my whole adult life, it's not something I ever thought I’d have the qualifications to be a part of, it’s an incredibly hard sector to get your foot in the door.

When I saw that the Electoral Reform Society ran a scheme, funded by their supporters, that could give me the leg up I needed, I just knew I had to apply.

The work that the Electoral Reform Society undertakes deeply resonates with me. Democracy is not something that is ever done, it has to grow, evolve and be protected. The reforms that the ERS advocate for, that of proportional representation, votes at 16 and House of Lords reform, are in my opinion necessary steps in the evolution of democracy.

So to the incredible members of the ERS who made this opportunity possible, I wish to offer you a heartfelt thank you."

Pete Smart, Lakeman Fellow

The Lakeman Fellowship

The Lakeman Fellowship for Diversity in Politics is a unique work and training opportunity for those under-represented in UK politics. This year long paid placement aims to provide tailored support to someone who has a passion for politics, particularly those from ethnic minority and working class backgrounds.

Politics needs opening up (1/5 of MPs attended Oxbridge compared to 1% of the general public). The Lakeman Fellowship is a step towards improving diversity, democracy and personal development and an opportunity for you to learn about working in politics whether that’s talking to politicians, writing articles, or organising events.

"After accepting that politics simply wasn’t for someone like me, it’s hard to overstate how grateful I am to have been the ERS’ Inaugural Lakeman Fellow.

The position is a unique and very special one, and representative of what the Society is all about: making things fairer and striving towards every voice being heard and valued equally.

Getting to see how such a small team packs such a hefty punch – not least at such an important and chaotic time – taught me a great deal.

It feels important that the Fellowship continues to have a future and broaden the conversation. A heartfelt ‘thank you’ also to those who have pledged their support, without which it wouldn’t exist.”

Tash Fodil, Inaugarual Lakeman Fellow