Latest Public Sector News

04.06.15

London Assembly calls on Boris to support a debate on electoral reform

The London Assembly (LA) has called on the mayor of London to support a debate on electoral reform for elections to the House of Commons. 

The LA proposed a motion, which was agreed with 11 votes in favour and five against, after it was claimed that Boris Johnson made an ‘inaccurate’ statement on LBC in May saying that “we have had a referendum on proportional representation (PR)”. 

Darren Johnson AM, who proposed the motion, said: “The mayor was wrong to dismiss proportional systems out of hand, and need only look to the LA to show that PR can work. 

“In the recent general election one in seven Londoners voted for a party that got no representation in our city. There’s a clear appetite for debating the system we use to elect politicians in London.” 

During his interview on LBC last month, posed by a caller, Johnson said: “One way to make the system a bit fairer is to go for boundary reform. We had a referendum on PR in very recent memory and it was overturned, it was not successful. It is quite a big thing to have another change to the constitution.” 

He added that all systems of electing representatives have “some defect or other”. 

However, last week, the Electoral Reform Society claimed that this year’s general election was the most ‘disproportionate’ in history. 

The full LA motion text reads: “This Assembly notes the recent general election results in London and the ensuing debate about electoral reform. This Assembly believes that electoral reform for the House of Commons should be debated. 

“This Assembly notes the mayor’s inaccurate statement on LBC on the 12th May that ‘we have had a referendum on PR’, and calls on him to support a full debate on electoral reform.” 

PSE has contacted the mayor’s office for comment, but at the time of publication had received no reply.

(Image: c. Dominic Lipinski)

 Tell us what you think – have your say below or email opinion@publicsectorexecutive.com

Comments

Uncle Tom Cobley   04/06/2015 at 12:05

The AV referendum was a disaster - and if Boris didn't understand it, how many others didn't either? NOW is the time for electoral reform with useful signs that at least Labour may finally be getting interested. I'm 71 voted all me life and never been represented in parliament. Cant wait!

Barry   04/06/2015 at 13:24

I am sure that Boris did understand it. Boris knows full well that David Cameron only agreed to an AV referendum PRECISELY BECAUSE it ISN'T a system of Proportional Representation and therefore a straight fight between AV and First Past The Post was likely to assure a victory for FPTP. Of course, this duely happened. We need a system of PR because only PR systems can hope to rectify the main fault of our present system ie its distinct and strong tendency to produce results where the number of votes a party gains is not reflected by the number of seats in the House of Commons ie its very marked disproportionality. I live in the ultra-Tory seat of Brentwood and Ongar and unless I move away from this seat my vote has virtually no value to it and has no real chance of influencing the national general election result because of this seat's status as a 'true blue' Tory safe seat. We need to have a proper reform process like our cousins down in New Zealand had: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Electoral_reform_in_New_Zealand My own preferred system of PR is the Additional Member System as used in Germany: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Electoral_system_of_Germany or New Zealand's Mixed-Member Proportional: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Electoral_system_of_New_Zealand

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