In this edition: party conference season part 2, winter crowdfunder and another round of by-election betrayal

More conversations and connections forged at party conferences than ever before

Thanks to the generous support of donors during our summer crowdfunder, MVM had a presence at each party conference. We’ve already told you about TUC and Lib Dem conferences. This time it’s Conservative, Green, Labour and SNP. 

In many ways, these events are designed to demonstrate the differences between each of the parties. An opportunity to draw ‘dividing lines’ between ‘us’ and ‘them’. But this year the partisan rhetoric masked a widely-held consensus – that politics isn’t working as it should.

Rishi Sunak, in his Conference speech, described Westminster as “a broken system”. Keir Starmer, for his part, said “the walls of Westminster are so high”, with the result that people’s lives become mere pieces on a political board.

But we don’t think it’s enough just to identify the problem. To be the real agent of change, to deliver a decade of genuine national renewal, we need to fix the rot at the heart of our politics: our broken voting system. We need Proportional Representation!

With the valuable help of MVM supporters, this was the message we took to Manchester, Brighton, Liverpool and Aberdeen. And, of course, as we look ahead to the next general election, the message MVM will be urging all candidates and parties to embrace.

MVM headlines from October’s Party Conferences:

Wiping out First Past the Post at Labour Conference: thank you so much to everyone who got involved with our flash mob-style action. The response was overwhelmingly positive – with the notable exception of one rather lazy Times columnist. And the engagement it received on social media was amazing.

PR Alliance in action – lively democracy fringe events co-hosted at every Conference. A huge thanks to all our wonderful guest speakers! Full write-ups of the Green and Labour fringes are available here and here.

PR on the doorstep

October saw MVM activists continue to bring PR to the streets of Mid-Bedfordshire and Rutherglen and Hamilton West during these by-election campaigns. A really fantastic effort by all those involved! Thank you. 

While the results were presented in exaggerated terms by some as a ‘political earthquake’, Mid-Bedfordshire and Tamworth were just the latest in a succession of by-election betrayals: in both contests, over half of voters were left empty-handed. In total 40,715 people whose voices won’t be heard in Parliament.

If you agree that the status quo is just not good enough, and you’d like to help us challenge it, why not get involved with a local MVM group near you? Please email local@makevotesmatter.org.uk for more information.

Winter crowdfunder

Thank you if you have already contributed to our winter crowdfunding campaign. As in the past, we are building a matching fund to help boost our campaign as much as possible. If you are interested in joining our small team of generous match funders, please click here for more details.

In the news

The latest MVM blogs take a closer look at some overseas elections: in Luxembourg and Switzerland, both of which use some of the most open forms of List PR in the world; and in New Zealand, whose switch to PR has brought none of the calamities its opponents suggested.

MVM’s recent polling was cited in a Byline Times article assessing Labour’s retreat from House of Lords reform. The poll revealed overwhelming support for political reform, with PR for the Commons seen as nearly three times more important than Lords reform.

Together, let’s keep up the pressure on Labour and all parties to align themselves with the people’s priorities.