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Campaigners demand changes to the first-past-the-post voting system in nationwide protests

HUNDREDS of people took part in nationwide demonstrations today calling for change to Britain’s first-past-the-post (FPTP) voting system.

The day of action, organised by cross-party group Make Votes Matter, saw campaigners come together at socially distanced events with placards and banners calling for proportional representation (PR) to be used in general elections.

In London, a huge banner was dropped from Westminster Bridge, near Parliament.

Another banner was hung from the pier at Worthing, while individuals displayed banners and placards in towns and cities from Cornwall to Cumbria.

Make Votes Matter grassroots leader Emma Knaggs said: “Our FPTP voting system means Parliament does not reflect how the UK voted.

“The government has a landslide majority of seats, but this is despite the Conservatives receiving less than 44 per cent of the votes.

“We need to change to a system of PR so votes count equally and so governments represent the diversity of people and views in our communities and society. 

“It’s absolutely critical to people’s participation and faith in democracy.”

Proponents of PR argue that, under the current system, votes for losing candidates are wasted, as are all votes for a successful candidate above the number needed to win in that particular constituency – and that in 2019, 71 per cent of votes were wasted.

In 2011, a bid to switch to the alternative vote (AR) system was rejected in a referendum, but campaigners claim that AR is not a form of PR, and can give even more disproportionate results than FPTP.

To sign a petition calling on MPs to support PR, go to https://www.makevotesmatter.org.uk/sign-petition

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