Darren Hughes's blog

24 Jan 2017

Taking back control: Why voters need a say on Brexit plans

This article was first published on Politics.co.uk Last week we got a clearer idea of Theresa May's approach to leaving the EU. She set out a 12-point plan which included leaving the single market, remaining partially in the customs union, and withdrawing from the European Court of Justice. It was a good speech. But where are the public on all this? June 23rd was not a total binary of winners and […]
3 Jun 2016

Let’s close the EU referendum generation gap

If you feel let down by the state of the EU referendum debate you’re not on your own. But it turns out there’s one group who are being especially locked out of the conversation: young people. There’s a stark generation gap in the EU referendum debate – and it’s not getting better. New BMG Research polling we’ve released today shows younger people are totally disengaged from the debate - just 47% […]
25 Apr 2016

David Torrance's guide to the EU referendum cuts through the spin

The following is an introduction to David Torrance's new guide to the EU referendum , which the ERS are supporting. Darren Hughes is Deputy Chief Executive of the Electoral Reform Society. As the UK’s longest-standing democracy organisation, the Electoral Reform Society has been standing up for voters’ rights since 1884. And this is no less the case than with the upcoming EU referendum. We’ve […]
10 Aug 2015

Andy Burnham's identified the right problem - but his solution falls short

Try as the political class might, calls to reform the House of Lords always come to the fore. So it’s no surprise that the issue has been on the agenda again for the past week. And now, it seems, it’s made it into the Labour leadership debate, too. By the standards of other policy announcements, it wasn’t the most radical. But last Thursday's manifesto launch by Andy Burnham featured a section on […]
4 Aug 2015

The House of Lords Needs a Major Overhaul, Not Tinkering Around the Edges

Calls for reform of the House of Lords have been heard even more loudly that normal in the last ten days and the reason is fairly obvious. The current set-up comes nowhere close to being right for the 21st Century. Some people have been surprised to learn the size of the House of Lords. The sad truth is that it is bursting at the seams with nearly 800 voting members, in what is already the second […]
30 Jul 2015

Our unelected House of Lords is in dire need of a clear-out

Another month, another political controversy. In the Lords however - unlike our elected Commons – there’s no way for the public to hold Peers to account at the ballot box. Instead, you have to hope that those who have brought our legislature into disrepute will forfeit their £300 a day expenses, accept their mistakes and resign - or go through a lengthy investigative process run by their fellow […]
manchester devolution
25 Feb 2015

Democratising Devo Manc

The ERS has long campaigned for devolution to the local level, but the Society also campaigns for proportional representation at a local level. Here ERS Deputy Chief Executive Darren Hughes outlines why they should go hand in hand. Sign our petition for a fairer local voting system The decision by the government to devolve responsibility for health funding - around £6 billion - to Greater […]
19 Feb 2015

Deal or no deal

The public are sick to death of party funding scandals. Over the last two weeks we have been exposed to yet more findings about the suspect dealings of party donors. It brings our democracy into disrepute, and we have to do something about it. Today the ERS publishes a report (called Deal or No Deal: how to put an end to party funding scandals ) which sets out the scale of public anger about the […]
9 Feb 2015

Pick your numbers

At every election, it seems, we are told that the poll is ‘historic’, that it is the ‘most important in a generation’ because the country is ‘at the crossroads’. What makes 2015 a contender for these titles is that our electoral system seems to be collapsing before our eyes. In a new report for the Electoral Reform Society , Professor John Curtice of the University of Strathclyde uses polling […]
22 Jan 2015

Time for a Convention!

Today’s publication of draft legislation to devolve powers to Scotland makes the case for a UK-wide, citizen-led Constitutional Convention ever more pressing. All the parties vowed to devolve more powers to Scotland, and no one is suggesting this should be delayed. But ultimately, today’s announcement raises more questions than it answers. These new powers will have huge implications for the rest […]