Activists told “change is coming” as hundreds descend on Westminster for Mass Lobby of Parliament
On Wednesday 24th May, hundreds of people from across the UK converged on Westminster to tell MPs it’s time to Sort The System.
The mass lobby – organised by Make Votes Matter and a coalition of other democracy groups – saw hundreds of constituents meet with their local MPs in Parliament to highlight the flaws in the First Past the Post electoral system and call for Proportional Representation.
Speakers included Zack Polanski AM, Mandu Reid, Cllr Hina Bokhari AM and Clive Lewis MP.
Photos from the event are available here.
Proportional Representation is essential to repairing Britain’s broken politics, democracy campaigners said today on the eve of a mass lobby of Parliament: Sort The System.
The lobby, which saw hundreds of voters from across the country descend on Parliament to meet with MPs, was been organised in response to the widespread concern that Westminster politics isn’t working for ordinary people across the country.1
Constituents as far afield as Suffolk Coastal, Carmarthen West and South Pembrokeshire, Blyth Valley and South East Cornwall met with MPs from every region of the country and every party in Parliament.
Supporters of electoral reform also attended a rally in the Emmanuel Centre to hear from a cross-party platform of speakers about the need to reform Westminster to deliver a system in which all votes count equally.
Speaking at the event, Clive Lewis MP (Labour), said:
“The Labour party is now a party that among the membership and the affiliated unions – after decades are striving – supports Proportional Representation. I can’t tell you how important that is.
“At the 2022 conference, there was no defence of First Past the Post because the arguments have been comprehensively defeated. Everyone in the Labour party knows our politics and our democracy is broken and at the root of that is the voting system.”
Cllr Hina Bokhari AM, (Liberal Democrat) said:
“I was elected under the PR system. It means someone like me can get elected as one of the first Muslim women elected to the London Assembly. Thanks to PR I know the Greater London Assembly is truly reflective of London.”
Zack Polanski AM, Deputy leader of Green Party (England & Wales):
“Key conversations are often missing from the national stage because our politics exists in a vacuum. There is such a narrow focus that issues such as taxing the wealthy, tackling inequality and a positive voice for migrants are often missing from our national stage. Proportional representation will open up our national conversation and that will grow everyone’s trust in politics.”
The lobby comes as public backing for Proportional Representation has never been stronger: polling consistently shows support for a proportional voting system comfortably outstripping support for the status quo.
A new poll out today found that the public supports a move to PR by a margin of more than two to one – including 50% of Labour and 45% of Conservative 2019 voters – with only 1 in 5 saying the UK political system is working well for the people. The most recent British Social Attitudes survey, a well-respected gauge of national opinion, also found that a majority of people in Britain favour replacing First Past the Post with PR.2