John Denham MP speaking at Labour Campaign for Electoral Reform AGM.
"First-past-the-post is undermining the progressive consensus that New Labour created in the 1990s, and threatening the ability to deliver progressive politics in Britain. We want to revive our appeal to all those who have backed Labour in the past 10 years in the heartlands and Labour's new territories. But first-past-the-post forces political parties to focus on a narrow group of voters who hold the key to a small number of key marginals - perhaps 30,000 voters nationally - in the much-vaunted centre ground. Only a reformed voting system, one that forces political parties to work for every vote, will provide the political stimulus we need to rebuild our struggling coalition. Of course, we can win again under first-past-the-post, as we have before. But there is likely to be a political cost; a cost to some of our radical aspirations. Time is running out for Labour to recognise the importance of voting reform to progressive politics in Britain."