Lewes campaigners call for Proportional Representation during national day of action

Residents in the Lewes District who are fed up with the current voting system joined a national day of action to call for Proportional Representation.

Tuesday, 3rd August 2021, 12:32 pm
Campaigners in Lewes

Members of Make Votes Matter Lewes carried placards and banners to the top of the Tump in Mountfield Road, Lewes, and sang alternative versions of popular football chants, calling for ‘fair, equal votes in UK elections’.

A video of one of the chants - an adapted version of “Sweet Caroline” - has so far gained two and a half thousand views on Twitter.

The campaigners said that, nationally, the current ‘First Past The Post’ system has repeatedly delivered governments that the majority of people voted against, and twice delivered ‘wrong result Governments’ – meaning the party with most votes lost.

Locally, Lewes constituency MP Maria Caulfield has been elected to Parliament three times but never received more than 50 per cent of the vote, they said.

Hazel Fell-Rayner, Acting Chairman of Make Votes Matter Lewes, said: “People have had enough of a voting system which is deeply unfair and doesn’t reflect how people really feel or want to vote.

“Proportional Representation means that the seats held in Parliament match the number of votes cast.

“It means that everyone gets to vote according to what they believe and their vote genuinely counts.

Campaigners in Lewes

“In the last general election, 71 per cent of votes made no difference to the final result and even then, millions of voters felt they had to vote tactically.

“It’s leaving people feeling voiceless and frustrated with our political system. We want that to change.”

The group is part of Make Votes Matter, a national, cross-party campaign advocating Proportional Representation for House of Commons elections.

Emma Knaggs, Grassroots Director at Make Votes Matter, said: “Joining a local campaign group to fight for such a fundamental change to the way MPs in Westminster are elected is vital for democracy.

Campaigners in Lewes

“Results from the last general election show that our current voting system skews the results in every constituency, including Lewes.

“This is why we need local people to call on their MP and their communities to back Proportional Representation.”