Statement released following publication of the Labour Party manifesto:

Joe Sousek, Co-Chief Executive of Make Votes Matter, said: “Labour’s failure to even mention electoral reform in its manifesto is a bitter disappointment to the many members and voters who understand First Past the Post is hopelessly unfit for the 21st century. The UK desperately needs Proportional Representation for the House of Commons – so all votes count equally and seats match votes.

“This election will be defined by electoral pacts and tactical voting as parties and voters struggle to overcome the inequities of First Past the Post. By refusing to acknowledge this elephant in the polling booth, Labour appears out of touch when it comes to democracy.

“The promise of a Constitutional Convention is a glimmer of hope, but a faint one given the party’s track record of obstructing and breaking clear promises to reform the voting system. Whatever the outcome of this election, Labour members and the public must make clear it’s time for real change in our democracy, which means bringing in a voting system for the many, not the few.”

ENDS

Notes to editors: 

[1] Labour’s manifesto, published Thursday 21st November, contains no explicit commitment to changing or reviewing the voting system used for general elections. Instead, it proposes to replace the House of Lords with an elected second chamber and to hold a Constitutional Convention. However, the party has resisted pressure from members, MPs and trade unions to promise the inclusion of the voting system in the remit of this Constitutional Convention.

[2] Over the last two years, more than 12 per cent of local Labour Party branches have formally called for the party to back Proportional Representation, and last week an open letter from MPs and parliamentary candidates implored the leadership to show openness to voting reform in the manifesto.