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Majority of Herts County Council candidates in East Herts support proportional representation

Most of the Herts County Council candidates standing in East Herts in Thursday's (May 6) election want to do away with the current electoral system.

That's the result of a survey conducted by the local branch of Make Votes Matter, a cross-party national organisation campaigning to replace the first-past-the-post system with proportional representation (PR) in UK General Elections.

Conservatives won 51 of the 78 Herts County Council seats at the last election in 2017 – that's 65% despite receiving 46% of the total votes cast.

Candidates standing in the 10 divisions in East Herts for Thursday's county council poll were asked by Make Votes Matter – East Herts if they supported PR for local and national elections.

Of the 41 candidates, 26 replied – and all but one supported PR. These 25 represented the Liberal Democrats, Labour and the Green Party.

The one 'No' vote was from the only Conservative candidate who responded. Three of the Independents standing were not contactable by email; the one who was contacted did not reply.

Calvin Horner, who is standing for the Lib Dems in Bishop's Stortford East, said: “Proportional representation is the only way to end the 'local one-party state' as exists in East Herts and many other council areas across the country. It is also the best way to govern a mature democracy.”

His Labour opponent in Stortford East, Oya Er Wilkes, who was raised in Turkey, said: “Growing up in a country where PR was the norm for all elections, I was taken by surprise how the UK election system was run on the first-past-the-post system. So I wholeheartedly support PR.”

Lydia Somerville, standing for the Greens in Hertford Rural, added: “It has been Green Party policy for years to have proportional representation in all elections. So this is a no-brainer for all of us Greens."

The five candidates standing for the Stansted division in the Essex County Council elections were also surveyed. The Lib Dem, Labour and Green candidates all supported PR. Neither the Conservative nor Residents for Uttlesford candidates responded.

Local elections in Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland and the London Assembly are run on a PR basis.

Make Votes Matter – East Herts holds regular monthly meetings. For more information see its Facebook page at www.facebook.com/mvm.eastherts and email mvm.eastherts@gmail.com.

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