Labour for a New Democracy on why support for electoral reform is now mainstream in the Labour Party
This summer, the Labour for a New Democracy (L4ND) Roadshow explored all aspects of electoral reform, hearing from activists, councillors, trade unionists, MPs, NEC members, journalists and academics – and from hundreds of Labour members from all over the UK and beyond.
We found an incredible enthusiasm for changing the way we do politics, for giving people more power and for creating a democracy and society fit for the 21st century. We heard, again and again, why Labour will struggle to realise and sustain the changes it wants to make in government if it does not introduce Proportional Representation (PR).
Launched in September 2020, the L4ND coalition brings together 11 organisations and Labour members to secure a Labour commitment to PR for the House of Commons. With its network of regional teams, and supporters from across the Parliamentary Labour Party and affiliated trade unions, L4ND has become the largest pro-PR campaign in Labour history.
To say that support for electoral reform is now mainstream in the Labour Party would be an understatement. A recent YouGov poll found 83 percent of Labour members believe the party should support PR, up seven percent from 2019. Only ten percent of members now say they favour the current first-past-the-post (FPTP) system.
By the end of summer 2021, over 250 constituency Labour parties from all regions and nations of Great Britain had passed a pro-PR policy. By Conference, we are confident the number will have passed the 40 percent mark – and that we will more than double the previous record of 37 motions sent to Conference, set back in 1989.
This support should come as no surprise. Nothing is more central to Labour’s values than equality, inclusion and fairness. For many of us, the blatant unfairness of FPTP and the inequality of representation this results in is enough to convince us. Labour Conference needs to see the case made for electoral reform not as a nice-to-have but low priority issue – but fundamental to embodying, creating and then defending the kind of society we want to live in. Democratic justice is integral to Labour’s fight for social, climate and economic justice.
See our website, www.labourforaNewDemocracy.org.uk, to view our twelve Roadshow events, see our fringe events and sign up.