This branch notes that the UK is the only country in Europe to use First Past the Post (FPTP) for general elections aside from Belarus.
There is evidence from academic research that First Past the Post has a right wing bias wherever it is used, leading to parliaments and governments that are on average significantly more right wing than the voters.
This corresponds exactly with the UK’s experience. Most votes went to parties to the left of the Conservatives in 19 of the last 20 general elections, yet the Tories have been in power for 63 per cent of this time. Instead of building a society “for the many”, this has created one of the most unequal societies in the developed world, with some of the most restrictive trade union laws.
This branch believes we need a Labour government to reshape society in the interests of workers and our communities. But it is imperative to realise that the current voting system offers no protection against later Conservative governments tearing up these hard fought gains as they have in the past. The world’s most equal and progressive societies all use forms of Proportional Representation which prevent rule by a right-wing minority and lock in the hard-won victories of their Labour movements.
This branch therefore resolves:
- To reject First Past the Post and support the introduction of a form of Proportional Representation in which all votes count equally and seats match votes.
- To call for the Labour Party to set out how it will select a new, proportional voting system for general elections, in time to offer as a concrete alternative to First Past the Post in our next manifesto.
- To call on our trade union to do the both of the above.