There are seats that Labour cannot win, but the Tories can lose. 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.
This campaign was all about extending democracy to the grassroots so that local people decide where to stand.
The rule change was sent to conference by 4 CLPs- then the Labour machine blocked it on spurious legal reasoning. Read more about that here.
In 2022 we set our eyes on getting the Labour Party a chance to lead a progressive government to make a good society a reality.
To do so, Labour needs to Only Stand to Win.
As it stands Labour contests every seat in the country. In the vast majority of places this makes sense, but in a small number of seats it doesn’t.
These are the seats in which Labour cannot win but the Tories can lose.
In 2019, there were more than 60 tragedies where the votes of broadly speaking progressive parties won the majority of votes but lost the seat.
By always standing everywhere Labour splits the anti-Tory vote and denies scarce resources being deployed nearby where Labour can 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. The rule change was sent to conference – then the Labour machine blocked it on spurious legal reasoning.
By having the local power to decide whether to stand a candidate or not, Labour parties can, where it is sensible, maximise the anti Tory vote where Labour can’t win and maximise the vote where Labour can.
This rule change could have enabled maximising the anti-Tory vote where Labour can’t win and maximising the vote where Labour can.
Such a local democratic decision makes a nonsense of the charge of ’stitch ups’. It is our voting system that stitches up votes and rewards candidates on small proportions of the vote – ensuring a government that doesn’t represent the will of the people.
Because of our voting system, over 70% of votes in 2019 were surplus or went to candidates that weren’t elected. 22 million votes ignored. This has to change.
This campaign was all about extending democracy to the grassroots so that local people decide where to stand – not party bureaucrats doing private deals.
We simply do not see what the point is of standing candidates in places that only help Tory candidates win.
Lib Dem and Green Party members already have this right. It’s Labour we need to shift.
Only Stand to Win in the Press:
- Exclusive: Members challenge party as conference motion ruled out of order – Elliot Chappell in LabourList
- The Tories are terrified of a Labour-Lib Dem pact – and they’re right to be – Neal Lawson in The Guardian
- Poll shows Labour voters back the idea of standing aside in unwinnable seats – Lena Swedlow in LabourList
- Local parties should be able to choose where to stand a Labour candidate – Neal Lawson in LabourList