Labour should be bold and make the case for electoral reform

For a 2020 win Labour need to be bold and competent, making the case for change.

It looks likely that this parliament will be dominated by a few separate issues, one being EU membership and another being the implementation of Conservatives policies under the first Conservative majority government in almost twenty years. However, another issue that will likely make headlines (and has indeed done so since the election) is the case for electoral reform.

Labour should promise radical electoral reform, namely proportional representation. The party will have to make some calculations: there was a vote on electoral reform on 2011 so many might not see it as a pressing concern, but with the Greens, the SNP and UKIP snapping at Labour’s heals then proposing proportional representation might be the way forward, especially with each of these parties also being in favour of a change.

With proportional representation being proposed by the parties taking votes from Labour, then Labour should make the case for such a change. Such a shift in policy could see the party gain back some disaffected voters as in all likelyhood for PR to happen it would have to be implemented by a future governing party - most likely Labour or the Conservatives.

Furthermore, proportional representation would give Labour representation in areas of the country in which it struggles. PR in Scotland would reflect the true strength of the SNP and show that Labour are still a force. In May the party was left with just one seat, but still got 25% of the vote. It would also give them more representation in the south of England where they are underrepresented.

Backing proportional representation would be a bold and radical step for Labour. One of the main reasons they do not offer it already is arguably that they have a chance of forming a majority government under first-past-the-post, but times are changing.

Labour could be ready to take the next step and change the system.


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