Proportional Representation for the next Labour Party manifesto

PR seems a fairer way of determining the make up of government and I would like to see it explained, explored and probably included in the next Labour Manifesto.

PR would remove the distinction between safe and marginal seats, which would Labour votes count equally wherever they are cast:

Every vote counts in terms of boosting the influence of Labour values in politics, but in areas where there has been a long period with other parties winning the seat by a massive majority, such as Harwich and North Essex, it is understandable that people feel that their vote does not count.

In the last election campaign there was a strict policy of only financing and resourcing ‘marginal seats’.  In the panel discussion in the Fabian’s AGM this policy was blamed by several speakers for some seats with massive improvement in vote share not turning into seats – this could be true in Colchester, which is now a marginal seat.

PR enables gender and BAME  representation in Politics

Every country with more that 40% women in its parliament uses PR.  Parliament should come close to representing the make up of the electorate, otherwise the reasons why not must be scrutinised – we do not want parliament to waste talent, lose voices and become irrelevant.

With PR we would expect more progressive governments more of the time.

First past the post has what is called a ‘substantive conservative bias’.

Countries with PR have lower levels of inequality, are more likely to have a welfare state, and commit more to social expenditure.  

Since we stand for more equitable distribution of wealth and better access to services, this suggests that PR may be part of the wider ambitions ‘for the many, not just the few’.