We did it: petition for PR hits 100,000 signatures

Electoral Reform Society,

Posted on the 21st March 2017

We did it. The petition to introduce real Proportional Representation for Westminster has hit its target of 100,000 – with over two weeks to go.

Thousands of you shared our blogs, tweets, emails and posts about the petition. And it’s paid off.

It had about 50,000 signatures at the start of February, meaning it has surged over the past month to get it over the threshold to go before the Petitions Committee of the House of Commons and be considered for a full debate.

The success of the push follows growing support to move to a Proportional Representation (PR) for General Elections, with an Early Day Motion to make votes matter attracting the support of 68 MPs and a newly established All Party Parliamentary Group for PR – chaired by Chuka Umunna MP – hitting the ground running with an inquiry into the success of PR in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

And it’s also a sign of is a sign of the strength of feeling among voters to ensure their voices are heard in Parliament. Everyone wants to know their votes really count. So this is a time for the phrase ‘take back control’ to be turned into action.

As our Chief Executive Katie Ghose told the Independent last week: “In this new constitutional era, we need a more accountable and fairly-elected Parliament that reflects the true diversity of opinion in modern Britain. Gone are the days when people only voted for two parties. Support for other parties soared at the last General Election: it’s time we had a voting system that reflects that.”

The petition’s 100,000 milestone also follows a motion passed just a couple of weeks ago by the London Assembly in support of PR. The motion – introduced by the Green Party’s Siân Berry AM – responded to a private member’s Bill to scrap fair votes for devolved elections in England and Wales. (Thankfully the Bill is very likely to fall – not least because there’s no appetite for it!).

With the PR petition hitting 100,000 signatures, it means it stands a good chance of securing a full Westminster Hall debate in Parliament.

We now hope MPs will listen and meaningfully debate proportional voting for Westminster, as we saw used in Northern Ireland just a few weeks ago, and which we’ll see in local elections in Scotland too in just a couple of months’ time.

It’s important that we keep up the momentum on this, so we’ll be doing everything we can do make sure it happens. You can still sign the petition here to keep up the pressure.

So much has changed this past few years. It’s time for a debate on real electoral reform: thank you for helping make sure it happens.

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