Search

Want your vote to count? Here’s how protesters did it using East End’s iconic landmarks

PUBLISHED: 18:00 25 August 2020 | UPDATED: 18:49 25 August 2020

Mark Broadmore and his 'social distance' banner protest... against backcloth of Limehouse marina and Canary Wharf skyscrapers. Picture: Make Votes Matter campaign

Mark Broadmore and his 'social distance' banner protest... against backcloth of Limehouse marina and Canary Wharf skyscrapers. Picture: Make Votes Matter campaign

Make Votes Matter

Protesters have been waving banners against iconic East End landmarks with “social distance” from each other to change Britain’s voting system.

Not old enough just yet... but one young protester at the Great Eastern launch pad in Shoreditch wants her vote to count in years to come.  Picture: Make Votes Count campaignNot old enough just yet... but one young protester at the Great Eastern launch pad in Shoreditch wants her vote to count in years to come. Picture: Make Votes Count campaign

They demonstrated with placards and banners around the skyscrapers of Canary Wharf, the Limehouse Marina, Mudchute farm on the Isle of Dogs and even by the mural in Shadwell marking the 1936 Battle of Cable Street.

The Tower Hamlets Make Votes Matter group pressing for proportional representation in general elections took part in a nationwide day of action at the weekend over growing local concerns about the “first past the post” system that gave Boris Johnson his overwhelming 80 majority in Parliament in December, despite falling short of half the votes.

The cross-party campaign calls for “equal votes for all”, pressing for proportional representation at general elections.

Two masked faces, a banner and a Canary Wharf skyscraper background to make the point about proportional representation. Picture: Make Votes Count campaignTwo masked faces, a banner and a Canary Wharf skyscraper background to make the point about proportional representation. Picture: Make Votes Count campaign

Mark Broadmore, the campaign’s Tower Hamlets co-ordinator, also joined a banner drop at Westminster Bridge.

“Good government and good politics needs a proportional voting system,” he said.

“People need to know that ‘first past the post’ forces politicians and voters to focus on what divides them and what’s wrong with ‘the other lot’. But there’s is better way.”

Banner drop at Westminster Bridge with message for Parliament. Picture: Make Votes Matter campaignBanner drop at Westminster Bridge with message for Parliament. Picture: Make Votes Matter campaign

Proportional representation, say campaigners, would reward those who can unite the country “on our common interests” rather than what local constituency they live in.

Emma Knaggs, grassroots leader of Make Votes Matter, said: “Our ‘first past the post’ system means Parliament doesn’t reflect how the UK voted.

The government has a landslide Commons majority, despite Conservatives receiving less than 44 per cent of the votes.

Making the protest with social distance... at Mudchuite Farm on the Isle of Dogs. Picture: Make Votes Count campaignMaking the protest with social distance... at Mudchuite Farm on the Isle of Dogs. Picture: Make Votes Count campaign

“We need to change to proportional representation for every vote counting equally, so governments represent the diversity and views in communities and for people’s faith in democracy.”

The response to the campaign included people overcoming the current Covid-19 restrictions by picking up placards and taking pictures and selfies at their local landmarks such as Limehouse marina, Mudchute Farm and Westferry Circus with the iconic Canary Wharf skyline, all to show “the growing appetite for change” in the voting population.


If you value what this story gives you, please consider supporting the East London Advertiser. Click the link in the orange box above for details.

Become a supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Latest from the East London Advertiser