SE Cambs Labour joins over 200 Constituency Labour Parties in supporting a debate on a more proportional voting system
On 23rd May, Labour members in South East Cambridgeshire met to prepare for the annual conference. The meeting agreed that it wants to see a more proportionate voting system used in all UK elections. Local Labour has backed this being debated at the party’s annual conference in September.
The meeting heard that under the preferential voting system used for Mayor, Labour’s Dr Nik Johnson won with 51% support. Under First Past the Post the Tory would have won with a 41% minority.
In General Elections in Cambridgeshire we are used to seeing the map coloured mainly blue. This doesn’t represent the choices of local voters.
In 2019, the Conservatives won 6 out of 7 of the MPs locally with just half the votes.
Rebecca Denness, a Labour Councillor in Ely, was chosen to be the delegate to the conference.
Rebecca says “We want to see change and I’m proud to be supporting a move to proportional systems.
“Voters try to guess how best to cast a tactical vote. Lord Ashcroft’s analysis of the last General Election showed a quarter of voters were trying to stop the party they liked least. This isn’t a positive way forward.
“In East Cambridgeshire, where I live, 10% voted Labour in the last District Council elections. On a proportional basis that means three councillors. But no Labour candidate was elected.
“According to Lord Ashcroft’s analysis, 43% of Lib Dem voters did so to try to stop the party they least liked from winning. We certainly see that effect locally.
“This is not about one party benefiting more. It’s about fairness and positive choices.
“Look at local elections in South Cambs where 38% chose Liberal Democrat yet they won 67% of the seats. Or in Cambridge City where 41% voting Labour gave 64% of the Councillors.
“The basis of democracy is that all votes are equal, but First Past the Post skews this. It’s no wonder that so many voters feel disconnected.”
Lord Ashcroft’s analysis. How Britain voted and why: 2019 general election post-vote //lordashcroftpolls.com/2019/12/how-britain-voted-and-why-my-2019-general-election-post-vote-poll/
Seats and vote share https://commonslibrary.parliament.uk/general-election-2019-turning-votes-into-seats/
Vote share in Cambridgeshire https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Parliamentary_constituencies_in_Cambridgeshire