May was quite the month. Bookended by the local elections and Sort The System, we saw the worst and best of our democracy. 

On the one hand, First Past the Post once again left huge numbers of voters feeling short-changed. In Test Valley, the Conservatives maintained control of the council on just 43% of the vote. While in Lewes, 21.9% voted Conservative only to see them gain no seats at all on the council.

Credit: Jospeh Casey

On the other hand, May was a month of collaboration across the democracy sector, as MVM coordinated the Sort The System people’s lobby of Parliament in partnership with the Electoral Reform Society, Unlock Democracy, Compass, Politics For The Many, Open Britain, and Best for Britain. 

What’s more, the lobby gave us all a way to channel our frustration with the UK’s broken politics peacefully and effectively. Together we carried a positive message to politicians of all parties and from every region of Britain – that to deliver real and lasting change, first we need to sort the system and embrace Proportional Representation. More here.

Grassroots latest

MVM Warrington and North Cheshire street stall

May saw no let up in the dynamism of MVM local groups. Grassroots supporters were central to the success of Sort The System, travelling to Westminster from far and wide to meet with their MPs, as well as continuing to make their voices heard locally.

MVM Salisbury, for example, took part in the community event ‘People in the Park 2023’. Those who visited the stall were in firm agreement that voters should have an equal say no matter where they live.

Activists meanwhile held busy street stalls in Southport, Chester, Warrington, Ilkley, and beyond, and hundreds of people have now signed MVM North Yorkshire’s petition for PR.

MVM North Yorkshire out and about

Thank you also to all the grassroots activists who continue to submit letters to their local news outlets. This really helps to keep up the pressure for change, so please keep sharing your published letters with us.  

If you are interested in joining a local group, or starting a new one for your area, please contact local@makevotesmatter.org.uk.

Alliance for PR

MVM was delighted last month to welcome its newest Alliance members: Economist and Philosopher, Daniel Chandler, and SNP spokesperson for Europe and EU Accession, Alyn Smith MP. We’re looking forward to working together to keep growing the movement for PR.

MVM also co-sponsored with Unlock Democracy and others a brilliant ‘In conversation with’ event with Carla Denyer, co-leader of the Green Party of England and Wales. There, Carla set out her vision for the future of British democracy, with PR placed firmly at the centre of this programme. 

Joint Unlock Democacy-MVM event, ‘In Conversation with Carla Denyer’ (centre-right)

And, of course, Sort The System would not have been possible without the active collaboration of so many allies. Our thanks go especially to our wonderful guest speakers on the day, including – but not limited to – Hina Bokhari AM (Liberal Democrats), Clive Lewis (Labour MP for Norwich South), Jennifer Nadel (Director of Compassion in Politics), Zack Polanski AM (Deputy Leader of the Green Party), Mandu Reid (Leader of the Women’s Equality Party), and Tommy Sheppard (SNP MP for Edinburgh East). 

We are also grateful to Alastair Campbell, Christine Jardine MP, and others, for working with us to make the case for PR in the press. See the coverage section of MVM’s website for details.

It was wonderful to see so many allies and supporters from all manner of political standpoints come together under the banner of equal votes.

Even at the busiest of times, we never forget that MVM’s work to make votes match seats is only made possible by the commitment of our supporters, and the generosity of our monthly givers. Thank you.