UK’s party structures are crumbling under strain of a broken electoral system, says ERS

Posted on the 18th February 2019

  • Statement from the Electoral Reform Society for immediate release, 18th February 2019

Commenting on news that seven Labour MPs have left to sit as the Independent Group, Darren Hughes, Chief Executive of the Electoral Reform Society, said:

“Today’s news increases the urgency of the need for real political reform: the party system is crumbling and the structures that underpin it remain stuck in the past.

“This split is a symptom of the fact that parties have not been their true ‘shape’ for a long time – they have been artificially bolted together by a broken First Past the Post electoral system.

“Brexit revealed what is an impossible situation: that we have just two huge ‘camps’ in the UK that try to represent everyone but can’t. This is simply not how politics works now. Voters are rightly angry about not being listened to, and this is an issue all parties must address.

“For Labour, a surge in votes no longer means a surge in seats, as last year’s election showed: a 10% increased vote share from 2015 returned the same number of seats as the party’s 2010 defeat. It should be clear to both parties that a new constitutional settlement is needed.

“Yet despite all the unrest and unease, few are talking about how to improve the situation. Let’s be clear: it is not unsolvable: we can and must reform Westminster’s broken structures.

“So much has changed this past few years, and all the evidence points towards voters wanting greater power and to be listened to. It’s time for all parties to work together and start to fix the rot before the whole thing collapses.”


The Electoral Reform Society is the UK’s leading organisation dedicated to improving Britain’s democracy.

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