London Assembly member Zack Polanski, political activist Femi Oluwole, Liberal Democrat MP for Bath Wera Hobhouse and musician Brian Eno joined hundreds of people across the UK on Saturday 31st July to break the silence on the urgent need for equal votes.

The Make Noise for Proportional Representation (PR) national day of action was organised by Make Votes Matter. It comes in the wake of growing concern over recent attacks on democracy, including plans by the Home Secretary Priti Patel to use First Past the Post for future mayoral and Police and Crime Commissioner elections. The police, crime and sentencing court bill currently before Parliament could also curtail the right to peaceful protest.  

So from York to Manchester, London to Belfast, Taunton to Totnes and Hastings to Lewes, the event saw hundreds of people coming together to make their support for Proportional Representation heard. From samba drummers in Bath to banner drops in York and Cambridge, supporters were out in force to break the silence on our broken voting system. Visit #MakeNoiseForPR for photos and images taken around the UK, and listen to songs by Brian Eno and Femi Oluwole which were penned especially for the day. 

According to Make Votes Matter, the current voting system of First Past the Post denies millions of people a voice in Parliament, forces millions more to vote tactically, and distorts the will of the British people. 

Emma Knaggs, Grassroots Director at Make Votes Matter, said: “First Past the Post means seven out of 10 of us are muted at the ballot box, effectively with no voice, without a vote that matters. Make Votes Matter’s campaign for equal votes has always been about making our voices heard. That’s why I joined hundreds of people across the UK to unmute myself and Make Noise for PR!

“With nearly 30,000 people signing our petition ‘Less First Past the Post, not more’ this sends a clear message to the Government that we don’t want this archaic system imposed on us for future mayoral and Police and Crime Commissioner elections. This would be a backward step for our democracy and leave millions more voters without a voice in politics, being governed by officials they simply didn’t vote for. There’s still time to add your name to the petition and defend what is left of our crumbling democracy.”

ENDS

Supporters from Make Votes Matter Lewes

Supporters from Make Votes Matter Lewes

Notes to editors

  • For media enquiries or to request any photographs from the day contact Sarah Hudspith at Make Votes Matter at team@makevotesmatter.org.uk Visit @MakeVotesMatter and #MakeNoiseForPR for photos and videos from across the UK posted on the action day.

  • Make Votes Matter is the cross-party movement for Proportional Representation in the House of Commons.

  • The petition Less First Past the Post, not more can be signed online.

  • The Alternative Vote – on which the UK had a referendum in 2011 – is not a form of PR. On 29 October 2010, Parliament voted against offering voters any form of PR in that referendum.