By Richard Wood
Delegates at the UK Labour Party Conference in Liverpool have today voted in favour of a motion to put changing the UK’s electoral system to one of Proportional Representation (PR) in the next election manifesto.
The vote follows years of hard work from reform activists, notably the Labour for a New Democracy campaign which includes the likes of Make Votes Matter and the Labour Campaign for Electoral Reform.
The successful vote also comes a year after a similar motion was defeated at the previous conference.
It’s worth highlighting that 60% of local Labour parties support PR. A total of 140 sent motions to this year’s conference in favour of reform.
Scottish Labour Leader Anas Sarwar even made the case for PR at the Labour conference. The Scottish Parliament voting system may not be perfect but it does deliver broadly proportional outcomes so it’s great to see MSPs standing up for PR at Westminster too.
Analysis – what does this mean and what next for Labour?
This is a major step forwards on the road to Proportional Representation. The Labour Party now officially has a policy in favour of upgrading UK democracy with fair votes.
However, it does not guarantee the inclusion of PR at the next election. Reports suggest that the party leadership may opt to exclude a commitment to PR from its 2024 manifesto.
It remains to be seen how this will play out but one thing is certain, this is a significant moment.
Labour for a New Democracy will no doubt keep up the pressure within the Labour Party.