Will the UK's election put proportional representation on the agenda?

Will the UK’s election put proportional representation on the agenda?

As the polling stations open and we go out to vote, here’s a question to ponder: will the UK’s election put proportional representation on the agenda?

Alastair Campbell, the former New Labour spin doctor, thinks it will, and he’s got a persuasive argument:

If Labour wins a massive Parliamentary majority while its share of the vote falls – from the number of votes that were deemed to be its worst-ever defeat in 2019, while Reform UK gets millions of votes but ends up with either no seats at all, or just a handful, it will call into question the value of the First Past The Post (FPTP) voting system.

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A future Labour government would then be put under pressure to change the system to proportional representation – but Keir Starmer would not possibly want to do so when it is the current system that gives him his majority and changing it may take that away.

The only way change could happen is if factions form within the Parliamentary Labour Party, calling for PR. This could happen if public discontent with Labour becomes great enough to make it clear that the party will lose everything at the next election if it doesn’t change the system.

And if Labour fails, it seems likely that UK politics will shift in only one direction: towards fascism.

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  1. El Dee July 4, 2024 at 4:58 pm - Reply

    IIRC the coalition between the LibDems and the Tories had a referendum on this and the public voted it down. Unless someone had that kind of leverage I don’t see this ever being raised in a realistic manner again. As you say, no party who wins by FPTP will ever institute PR, ever..

    • Mike Sivier July 4, 2024 at 6:14 pm - Reply

      Yes and if *I* recall correctly, the referendum voted down PR because the version on offer wasn’t the best choice and people were given poor information about it.

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