Earlier this year, joined by a cohort of Labour MPs, Compass and Compass Labour launched our campaign to Only Stand to Win.
Only Stand to Win was a campaign for a small Labour Party rule change to allow local parties to decide whether to stand a candidate or not, in the seats Labour cannot win but the Tories can lose.
Over the course of 6 months, we signed up almost 200 volunteers in over 130 CLPs across Wales, England and Northern Ireland. They recognised that there are seats that Labour cannot win, but the Tories can lose.
Labour Party members and voters have consistently called for democratic reform, in our wider political system and within their own party. When we ran a poll earlier this year, we found that the majority of Labour voters support not standing in seats where doing so enables Conservative wins by syphoning off votes from another progressive candidate best placed to beat the Conservatives.
However, even though the motion for a rule change was submitted by 4 CLPs, the Labour Conference Arrangement Committee has ruled on legally spurious grounds that the motion cannot be debated at this year’s conference.
The Parliamentary Labour Party and National Executive Committee have consistently ignored the call for democratic reforms, and now the CAC has thrown out a motion to allow members to make strategic decisions about prioritising resources to ensure Labour can maximise the potential of a progressive led government at the next election. We’re challenging the reasoning behind this decision with a formal legal complaint because we disagree with the legal basis of the decision, but also for the same reasons we ran the campaign.
We are facing immense challenges, staring down economic recession with millions suffering as a result of our negligent government, and the risk of an uninhabitable planet looming. We need progressives in power. Labour has failed at the last 4 elections to achieve that.
By delaying debating this motion and the issue of cooperation the Labour machine puts us at risk of losing a fifth election.
Read the article in Labour List Exclusive: Members challenge party as conference motion ruled out of order
“It’s really difficult for us to talk about a more democratic country, about enhancing our democracy, when we don’t have those democratic principles on show within our own party.”
MP Clive Lewis, speaking at the launch of this campaign on 26th January 2022
We often criticise the Tories for putting Party ahead of Country. Now is the time for progressives, and Labour in particular, to show that they’re better than that. The stakes are too high to gamble on an unlikely win, we must do whatever it takes to prevent another Tory government like this one.
We’ll be at the Labour conference anyway. We’ll be there just before launching a new campaign launching later in the autumn of 2022 – Win As One – continuing the work of building a healthier democracy in the UK.