A prominent member of the Labour party has suggested that the voting system could be changed if Sir Keir Starmer becomes the Prime Minister. Lucy Powell, the Shadow Commons Leader, acknowledged that she is open to discussions surrounding electoral reform. However, her comments have raised concerns among Conservatives who fear that Labour may abandon the first-past-the-post system in favor of a proportional representation system.
Potential for chaotic coalition governments
There are growing fears that a switch to proportional representation could result in the formation of unstable coalition governments, similar to those seen in European countries. The Liberal Democrats have long supported this method and it is likely to be a key demand if Keir Starmer fails to secure a majority in the next election.
Electoral reform talk deemed a "distraction"
Although Ms. Powell has described the discussion of electoral reform as a "distraction" at present, she did suggest that conversations on this matter could happen in the future. In a recent conference fringe meeting, she stated that the focus should currently be on winning the election under the existing rules.
Current system praised for its constituency links
Despite her openness to electoral reform, Ms. Powell also highlighted one of the benefits of the current system – the close relationship between Members of Parliament and their respective constituencies.
Conservative party warns against potential "rigged elections"
Reacting to the remarks, Conservative chairman Greg Hands expressed concerns over the possibility of attempts to "rig elections." He reiterated that a referendum on electoral reform had already taken place in 2011 and the idea was soundly rejected. He accused Labour of prioritizing their own political gain over the best interests of the British people.
It should be noted that while Labour's official policy does not support changing the voting system, Lucy Powell's comments suggest that there are perceived flaws in the existing model.