FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Stephen Gilmore: +32 498 07 78 19; media@makevotesmatter.org.uk
London, 22nd December 2023

2023 saw more money donated as part of Make Votes Matter crowdfunders than in any previous year, the campaign group for Proportional Representation (PR) has revealed.

In spite of the financial pressures facing millions across the country, crowdfunder donations reached £96,466 in 2023, with roughly two-thirds coming in the month or so leading up to Christmas.

Make Votes Matter are pointing to this level of support as expressive of the overwhelming demand for serious change to the way politics in Westminster is conducted.(1)

Commenting on the generosity of supporters, Make Votes Matter’s Operations Manager, Millicent Scott Brooks, said:

“The level of support we’ve received is really overwhelming. At a time when so many people are having to tighten their belts, their willingness to contribute just goes to show how dissatisfied the public is with the current system.

“I think what you’re seeing is a reaction to the turmoil of recent years in Westminster. Our First Past the Post electoral system, far from delivering strong and stable government as its advocates claim, has produced nothing but chaos and division.

“The message to politicians is clear: people have lost faith in politics as normal and are looking for change. Not in five or ten years. Now.”

Make Votes Matter’s announcement comes as parliamentarians and campaigners have penned a joint letter to Keir Starmer urging him to commit to Proportional Representation for general elections.

Cross-party signatories include: 

  • Andrew Boff, Conservative Chair, London Assembly
  • Carla Denyer & Adrian Ramsay, Co-Leaders, Green Party of England and Wales
  • Brian Eno, musician and artist
  • Rhun ap Iorweth, Leader. Plaid Cymru
  • Owen Jones, journalist
  • George Monbiot, author, journalist, environmental activist
  • Helen Pankhurst, activist, academic, university chancellor, author and speaker
  • Marina Purkiss, political commentator
  • Jonathon Porritt, author and environmentalist
  • Mandu Reid, Leader, Women’s Equality Party
  • Tommy Sheppard MP, Scottish National Party
  • Richard Tice, Leader, Reform UK
  • Mick Whelan, General Secretary, Aslef

At Labour Conference in October, the Party endorsed the National Policy Forum report acknowledging that “[t]he flaws in the current voting system are contributing to the distrust and alienation we see in politics”. 

With this open letter, signatories are calling on Keir Starmer to take the next step beyond problem identification and commit his Party – should it assume office after the next election – to reforming the UK’s broken voting system.

Signatory to the letter and Make Votes Matter supporter, Jonathan Porritt, said:

“To renew our country, we need to renew our democracy. There is a growing recognition that we can’t tackle climate breakdown or reduce inequality with a democracy that isn’t fit for purpose.

“Not only does switching to PR carry majority support, polling consistently shows the public sees PR for general elections as the single most impactful change we can make to the way our politics works.

“Keir Starmer rightly acknowledges that the current voting system is contributing to public distrust and alienation. As the likely next Prime Minister, he now needs to take the next step and embrace the appropriate solution: PR for the Commons.”

-ENDS-

Notes to editors:

(1) See also: https://bylinetimes.com/2023/12/11/major-political-reform-could-secure-key-labour-target-voters-study-suggests/ 

For more information, please contact: 

Stephen Gilmore
Media Manager, Make Votes Matter
media@makevotesmatter.org.uk
+32 498 07 78 19

Make Votes Matter< /a> is a single-issue campaign for Proportional Representation in the House of Commons. Working with all parties to generate irresistible demand for PR, we aspire to a truly democratic UK in which everyone has an equal voice, power is shared fairly, and decisions are made for the common good.

The Alternative Vote – on which the UK had a referendum in 2011 – is not a form of Proportional Representation and can be even more disproportional than First Past the Post.