Online Petitions

Petition: Adopt proportional representation for all elections to make votes matter

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Collecting signatures
36 signatures 36 online signatures
0 signatures on paper
Lead petitioner Rob Telford
Petition target Bristol City Council
Start date Fri, 21 Apr 17
Closing date Thu, 7 May 20
Last signatories
  • Kate Patten
  • Terry Crimmons
  • Mark Robertson
  • michael clark
  • Stephen Clark
  • Barry J Cash
  • Charity Kelly
  • Matthew Campbell
  • Don Tranter
  • sallie waters
Signature information

To ask the Mayor of Bristol to endorse proportional representation publicly and write to the Prime Minister, the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, and the Shadow Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government to call for a review of all voting systems as part of normal parliamentary business.

Background information

Our electoral system is broken and needs reform.

At the last local elections in May 2016, the Labour Party secured 36.56% of the vote in Bristol. [1] A proportional representation of this vote share (70 councillors x 0.3656) would give 26 Labour councillors. As a comparison, the Conservatives would have 2 more councillors (16), the Greens 3 more councillors (14) and the Lib Dems 4 more councillors (12) under a proportional voting system. We are petitioning for the Mayor to support a more balanced, representative chamber in Bristol, and a more balanced representative chamber in Westminster.

In the 2015 general election, one party got 37% of the vote and 51% of seats, while 3 parties got 24% of the vote but share 1.5% of seats. [2] The first past the post (FPTP) voting system violates the democratic principle of majority rule and leads to many people casting votes that don't count towards the result and are therefore wasted. Over 22 million votes (68%) were wasted in the General Election of 2017.

The UK has never had a say on proportional representation (PR). As David Cameron himself said, the Alternative Vote (AV) Referendum was on a system that is often less proportional than FPTP, so the rejection of AV could not possibly be a rejection of PR. With the referendum having a turnout of 42%, it was clear that the majority of voters felt ambivalent at best towards both systems.

There are tried and tested PR systems that keep the constituency link. [3] They would make every vote matter equally, rather than allowing a minority of swing voters in a few marginal seats to pick the government.

A petition with 100,000 signatures has forced a parliamentary debate. [4] Now we need local elected politicians to voice their support for making votes matter through adoption of proportional representation for all UK elections.

Sources
1. Bristol City Council election results: http://www2.bristol.gov.uk/LocalElectionViewer2016?XSL=main&ShowElectionPercentage=true&ElectionId=70
2. General Election results: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_Kingdom_general_election,_2015#Results
3. Electoral Reform Society A-Z of voting systems: http://www.electoral-reform.org.uk/voting-systems
4. Parliamentary petition: https://petition.parliament.uk/petitions/168657

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