Earlier this year, the scale of public anger at our broken voting system was revealed.
Despite no General Election being on the horizon at the time – and starting from scratch – voters shattered expectations: over 100,000 signed the Parliamentary petition for proportional representation.
That meant it was in the running for a debate in Parliament – putting fair votes back on the agenda.
Then June’s unexpected election was called. With that, and the summer recess, the Petitions Committee was suspended for months – meaning we had no idea whether this huge public response would be given the attention it deserved in the Commons.
Now though, Parliament – and the Petitions Committee – is back. And they’ve just set a debate to discuss the petition: “To make votes matter, adopt Proportional Representation for UK General Elections”.
The debate is scheduled for 30 October 2017 – giving us the next month to build the momentum for fair votes.
In the next few weeks, we’ll be writing to every MP asking them to back the motion – and we need you to, too.
The arguments for PR are stronger than ever – and that’s saying something given the travesty for democracy that was the 2015 election (the most disproportionate in UK history).
Our report on June’s vote, ‘The 2017 General Election: Volatile Voting, Random Results’, shows millions of those people’s votes are being thrown on the electoral scrapheap. 68% of votes had no impact on the result. That’s 22 million votes going to waste.
Amid that sea of wasted votes, it’s the tiny ripples that make the difference. Just 0.0016% of voters choosing differently would have given the Conservatives a majority, while the election saw rise in very marginal seats: eleven seats were won by fewer than 100 votes.
On top of that, this was the ‘hold your nose’ election: we estimate that 6.5 million people voted tactically, alongside surge in smaller parties standing aside.
It’s great news our MPs will be debating the need for fair votes, following the vote-wasting scandal that was June’s election.
Thank you for making this happen. Now let’s build the pressure to show that the desire for a more democratic, modern way of electing our representatives is even stronger than before.