'Every single person's vote should matter'

Unite delegate Jessie Jacobs makes contribution in debate on electoral reform

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Unite delegate Jessie Jacobs made a powerful contribution to a debate on electoral reform at the Labour party conference on Monday (September 26).

Speaking in support of a motion on changing the voting system for general elections, Jessie said that her union Unite “recognises and agrees that we need electoral reform and we must oppose first-past-the-post”.  

She highlighted the need to “begin a process for exploring and agreeing a system that replaces it”.

Jessie told of how conference has heard heart-breaking stories of “families going to bed early to stay warm, of foodbanks running out of food”.

Jessie said she herself had met someone “who was cooking outside on a fire because she didn’t want to use her gas”.

“So we might say why are we debating electoral reform in a cost of living crisis?” she asked.

“I’ll tell you why — it’s because every person in this nation matters and every single person’s vote should matter,” she noted to applause.

“Food workers who are falling behind on their rent; cleaners who are struggling to pay their gas bill; taxi drivers who are dealing with the cost of living crisis and the cost of fuel — it shouldn’t matter whether you live in Cheltenham, Chiswick or Chester; whether you live in Surrey, Sunderland or Stafford – their vote should carry equal weight,” she went on to say.

Urging delegates to support the motion, Jessie concluded, “If they want a new government with better pay, public railways, a greener, fairer future, then they should be able to have an equal say and an equal vote – first-past-the-post does not deliver this.”

By Hajera Blagg

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