Labour for a New Democracy welcome Brown Review as “putting democracy on Labour’s agenda” but warn reforms will fail without PR for general elections

Campaigners welcome Brown Review as “putting democracy on Labour’s agenda” – but warn reforms will fail without PR for general elections

Brown’s review comes as new polling finds public support for PR general elections even higher than support for Lords reform.

  • Statement from Labour for a New Democracy for immediate release, Sunday 4th December.
  • Contact Jon Narcross, / 07794728820 for interviews or more information.

Labour for a New Democracy has warned Starmer and Brown that without reforming the electoral system for the Commons, their plans for restoring public faith in politics will fail.

The grassroots nationwide campaign of party members and trade unionists reiterated the call for PR in response to the long-awaited publication of Gordon Brown’s review of the constitution expected to be published tomorrow (5 December). Brown’s proposals will help shape Labour’s democratic reform offer ahead of the next general election.

Labour for a New Democracy – who earlier this year published Everything But the Commons [1] setting out why Proportional Representation for the House of Commons is essential in order to deliver the objectives of Brown’s Constitutional Commission – welcomed Labour’s commitment to democratic reform but warned that without PR the proposals are doomed to fail.

The call for Labour not to ignore the need for changing the system for general elections comes just two months after Labour’s conference overwhelmingly voted for electoral reform to be in the manifesto – securing the backing of party members and affiliated trade unions [2].

New polling by Redfield and Wilton has found a majority (54%) of the public want a change to the electoral system to a form of Proportional Representation – with less than one in eight voters only opposed [3].

Support for PR was found to be even higher than support for changing the House of Lords (51%), calling into question the decision not to include electoral reform for the Commons in the Brown Review’s initial proposals.

Laura Parker, Labour for a New Democracy said:

“Brown’s proposals are a welcome recognition that our political system isn’t working and that democracy must be at the heart of Labour’s plan to modernise Britain.

“Public trust in politicians is at an all-time low. But reforms will only succeed in restoring trust in politics if everybody knows their vote counts – and that means introducing Proportional Representation for general elections.

“Polling shows a majority of people want reform of the voting system, even more than they want reform of the Lords. People up and down the country have had enough of governments which don’t represent them and clearly don’t work for them. It’s time Westminster caught up”