Compass advocate tactical voting in Harrogate to establish proportional representation

Campaigners have formally lent their support to three parliamentary candidates from different parties as part of a campaign to elect candidates committed to proportional representation.

Crucial to these endorsements is that all the candidates are advocates for proportional representation (PR), a voting system where Parliament reflects how we vote because everyone’s vote counts equally, so making political representation fairer.

Compass York and North Yorkshire, a local group affiliated to the national cross-party campaign group Compass, have endorsed Tom Gordon, Liberal Democrat in Harrogate and Knaresborough, Luke Charters, Labour in York Outer and Arnold Warneken, Green Party in the new seat of Wetherby and Easingwold.

The group says that their action is based on analysis of all three seats, which shows that these PR-supporting candidates could win with the help of cross-party understandings, strategic campaigning and coordinated tactical voting.

  • The Win as One campaign is about changing politics by changing the First Past the Post system to Proportional Representation.
  • Compass are building up groups of local activists in key seats that can win from sitting Conservatives, and building pressure on progressive candidates there to commit to changing the voting system.
  • Those groups are then endorsing and campaigning for the best-placed progressive candidates who support changing the voting system to proportional representation.

The first past the post system is where voters cast their vote for a candidate of their choice, and the candidate who receives the most votes win, even if that candidate has less than 50% of the vote overall.

Proportional representation essentially means that the share of seats a party wins matches the share of votes it receives. Ballots are initially counted for each voter’s top choice. If a candidate has more than half of the vote based on first choices, that candidate win and if not, then the candidate with the fewest votes is then eliminated.

Advocates of PR cite that the system is fairer, and opponents say that it can lead to weaker governments.

Other Compass local groups are looking to secure similar endorsements across the country.

Through its election-focused campaign, Win As One, Compass aims to facilitate collaboration between Labour, Liberal Democrats and Greens in key seats to help PR-supporting MPs win power in order to change the voting system, allowing more diverse voices to be heard and making progressive policy outcomes more likely.


Tom Gordon, Liberal Democrat said:

I fully support the introduction of a proportional voting system for House of Commons elections. The current First Past the Post system often does not reflect the diverse political views of our electorate and hinders the representation of progressive voices. I am proud that the Liberal Democrats have long advocated for Proportional Representation, and I am personally committed to this essential democratic reform.

A proportional system would not only ensure fairer representation but also foster the pluralist politics and progressive policy outcomes we all strive for. Together, we can set the stage for transformational change in UK politics.


Luke Charters, Labour said:

I am personally in favour of Proportional Representation in the House of Commons. However, I also believe that because of the mess the Conservative Government has created, we would need to carefully consider what our legislative priorities are in the event that we are privileged enough to win the General Election.



Arnold Warneken, Green Party said:

I am fully committed to supporting a change to Proportional Representation at all levels of government. Our antiquated First Past The Post system repeatedly rewards the two major parties at the expense of the smaller parties. This has severely reduced numbers of Green Party elected representatives despite popular support, particularly at General Elections. Westminster cannot fix all the social and environmental issues plaguing our society until we adopt a fairer, democratic voting system which makes everyone’s votes count.


To further this campaign Compass York and North Yorkshire are inviting pro-PR progressives to a special Compass York and North Yorkshire General Election ‘Barnstorm’ on Saturday 15 June, at Friends Meeting House, Harrogate, 12a Queen Parade, HG1 5PP 2 – 4pm


Celine Barry a spokesperson for Compass York and North Yorkshire said:

On July 4th, the people of Harrogate and Knaresborough, York Outer and Wetherby and Easingwold have an opportunity to prove that progressive politics built on co-operation, collaboration, pluralism and respect can deliver progressive gains.

If we can elect these three new MPs in York and North Yorkshire we will have taken an important step towards ultimately changing the dysfunctional First Past The Post system because they all support PR as the necessary foundation of wider democratic reform. .However, this will only happen if we can all come together and unite behind the best-placed progressive candidates in these constituencies.


Christine Gledhill another spokesperson from Compass York and North Yorkshire, said:

With progressive MPs representing Harrogate and Knaresborough, York Outer, and Wetherby and Easingwold, we can begin to build towards a new democratic politics where tactical voting is no longer necessary, where every vote carries equal value, and where the whole electorate’s needs, not just those of a few swing voters in marginal seats, finally come first.


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