You did it: Parliament is going to debate adopting fair votes

Darren Hughes, Chief Executive

Posted on the 14th September 2017

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.

Ask your MP to attend the debate

Read more posts...

Where is Single Transferable Vote used in the UK?

Whilst First Past the Post is used for Westminster elections in the UK, it’s not the only way we elect people to office in the UK. Other voting systems have a long history and are...

Posted 29 Mar 2024

MPs and Peers recognise the benefits of STV when they are the voters