Citizens Initiatives (Supplementary) [1]

Session date: 
July 20, 2016
Question By: 
Sian Berry
City Hall Greens
Asked Of: 
The Mayor


Sian Berry AM:  Thank you very much, Chairman.  One reason people turned out in greater numbers in the referendum was because they knew that their vote was going to count.  People in this country are potentially very used to their vote not counting because of our outdated system of first-past-the-post.


Mr Mayor, would you support potentially a move to proportional representation (PR) so that people know when they vote for their representatives that they will get a representative set of representatives in Parliament?

Supplementary To: 


Answer for Citizens Initiatives (Supplementary) [1]

Answer for Citizens Initiatives (Supplementary) [1]

Answered By: 
The Mayor

Sadiq Khan (Mayor of London):  There are lots of reasons why people vote.  One of them is because they think they can impact on the turnout.  I suspect that those who were hoping that, for example, a research ship would be named “Boaty McBoatface” will be disappointed that their vote had no impact in relation to that vessel being named.


It is important, though, that we recognise that we have a rich history of representative democracy.  I have been a longstanding public advocate for PR rather than first-past-the-post, but we are where we are.  There are lots of downsides that the system of referenda - and I respect the views of Assembly Member Boff - has in relation to direct democracy.  One of the things that we have to do is to make sure we stay relevant and in touch with Londoners by going on visits, whether it is to Gallows Corner or whether it is to involve Londoners in estate regeneration.