Labour back proportional representation for NEC elections – campaigners comment

Posted on the 30th June 2020

  • Statement from the Electoral Reform Society, for immediate release: 30th June 2020
  • Contact Josiah on 07717211630 / [email protected] for more comment or to arrange an interview

Commenting on the Labour Party’s decision [1] to scrap First Past the Post voting for its National Executive Committee elections, Darren Hughes, Chief Executive of the Electoral Reform Society – who campaigned for the move – said:

“This is a major step forward for member democracy and fair results, and we were proud to back the campaign. Labour has now firmly rejected the Westminster-style winner-takes-all system for its internal elections.

“STV is the gold standard of proportional representation, so this is a victory for voters in the party. Labour’s move away from one-slate-takes-all should be the start of backing fair elections at Westminster – where every vote candidates, and no one has to ‘hold their nose’ by voting tactically.

“With PR, every vote counts equally, and all voters are heard. This could go a long way to reducing toxic factionalism, and building a more united, cooperative organisation.”

A spokesperson for the trade union campaign Politics for the Many, said: “This is a real win for members across the party. It prevents one side taking 100% of seats on a minority of the vote, ensuring the left have a fair foothold. Labour should now put the principles of political equality into practice and back proportional representation for Westminster elections, too.”

The move brings Labour into line with other parties including the Lib Dems and the Greens, who use the Single Transferable Vote system for internal elections. Many trade unions also use STV for electing their executives.

A majority of Labour members back proportional representation for Westminster elections [2]

ENDS

[1] https://labourlist.org/2020/06/labour-nec-changes-voting-system-for-internal-elections-in-starmer-win/

[2] https://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/labour-party-proportional-representation-corbyn-leader-polls-a9249196.html

More information about STV here: https://www.electoral-reform.org.uk/voting-systems/types-of-voting-system/single-transferable-vote/

Keir Starmer expressed support for electoral reform during the leadership election: https://www.electoral-reform.org.uk/latest-news-and-research/media-centre/press-releases/keir-starmer-announces-support-for-constitutional-convention-and-proportional-representation/

All the deputy leadership candidates backed a move to STV for the NEC during the leadership election, after ERS campaigning: https://www.electoral-reform.org.uk/what-we-learnt-from-the-ers-open-labour-leadership-hustings/

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