Speaking at the PR Alliance Building Conference in Westminster organised by ‘Make Votes Matter’, UKIP’s Justice and Home Affairs spokesman Diane James MEP said UKIP’s experience of 3.8 million votes and only MP elected in the 2015 General Election was clear evidence of why electoral reform was necessary.
In her speech Diane said electoral reform was not just needed for Westminster Parliamentary elections but also at a grassroots level for local election too. She cited her experience as a Borough Council whereby 56 were taken by Conservatives with her as the sole opposition (a total Council of 57 councillors) yet the Conservatives received only just over 50% of the vote. This meant that nearly 45% of voters had no political representation to show for making the effort to vote.
In terms of electoral reform she cited the need to address the issue of funding to restore voter confidence in the election process and made the point that despite two decades of discussions the political duopoly could still not reach agreement on donations limit, campaign funding limits or sourcing.
Her speech also outlined the current 'distraction' aspects of electoral reform and how these would not assist voter perceptions that the goal was fairness - specifically referring to plans to redraw constituency boundaries and reduce the number of MPs from 650 to 600 despite an increasing UK population.
She concluded her speech by endorsing the aims of the electoral reform conference but requested that they avoid another 'talking shop' and deliver results before their designated 2021 target and to look for guidance on approaches from the Brexit Referendum, Assemblies and London mayor elections.