Welcome to the website of NOTA UK, the home of the None of the Above electoral reform campaign for the UK (est: 2010).
Our aim is to get a formal and binding ‘None of the Above’ (NOTA) option – aka: Re-Open Nominations (RON) – on ballot papers for all future UK general elections.
Read and download our white paper to find out why the ability to formally withhold consent at elections via NOTA could usher in an era of real democracy that maximises the common good.
Read and download our critique of the Make Votes Matter campaign for Proportional Representation (PR) to find out why we believe NOTA should be front and centre of any campaign for electoral reform.
Check out our NOTA Video Series for a visual overview of what we’re all about.
NB: We are NOT a political party and won’t be standing candidates in any future general elections. Read on to find out why.
Please direct all media enquiries to stan(at)nota-uk.org
(For Stan’s music related escapades go here)
THE CURRENT STATE OF PLAY: Having effectively taken a year out to observe developments in the increasingly volatile post-Brexit, post-Trump political landscape, NOTA UK is now once again banging the drum for NOTA. On 07/01/19, we published our definitive white paper and accompanying critique of the campaign for PR, coinciding with an appearance by campaign founder Jamie Stanley on Matthew Wright’s TALK Radio show to discuss the need for NOTA.
Previous developments: Towards the end of 2014, thanks to our lobbying, the parliamentary Political & Constitutional Reform Committee (PCRC) included NOTA as a proposed reform in a survey and public consultation on ‘voter engagement’. The huge show of public support for NOTA that this provoked compelled the PCRC to recommend in its final report (published 05/02/15) that the next government consult before May 2016 solely on inclusion of NOTA on ballot papers. This was a huge boost to our campaign as it was the first time that None of the Above had ever been acknowledged and officially endorsed as a possible electoral reform in and of itself. Read this blog post for more details.
In the run up to the 2015 election, interest in our campaign was huge. Founder Jamie Stanley (aka: Stan) was invited on to RT show Going Underground twice, once before the election and once after it, and appeared on their nightly news bulletin three times. He was even scouted by a BBC Radio Five live show called ‘Ballot Box Brigade’ to provide some irreverent commentary to key election campaign events, which he of course used to illustrate the need for NOTA as much as possible.
He was also provisionally invited on to Channel 5’s ‘The Wright Stuff’ by NOTA advocate Matthew Wright himself. Unfortunately, the producers chose to run a segment on it while Matthew was on holiday and allowed Richard Madeley to do a sterling job of dismissing NOTA and reinforcing various myths about it, much to ours and Matthew’s annoyance. (This was rectified recently when Stan appeared briefly on the 18th May 2017 show).
A few weeks into the new 2015 parliament, the incoming government scrapped the PCRC and effectively tore up all of their hard work and recommendations.
Since then, the rise of Jeremy Corbyn has rather drawn the attention of the general public away from radical necessary reforms like NOTA and on to the potential cleansing of the system from within that he represents for many, as has Brexit for others. As discussed elsewhere on our website, both these things, along with the campaign for Proportional Representation, are largely, in our view, red herrings when you understand how the UK system of government really works.
The binning of the PCRC and its vital democratic work is a scandal in itself while the phenomenons of Corbyn and Brexit are understandably distracting. But we’re not about to let these things stop us. The PCRC’s NOTA recommendation was an official, logically sound, evidence based endorsement that transformed NOTA from a misunderstood, fringe idea into a mainstream, seriously proposed solution to the problems of our failing democracy.
No amount of wielding of unchecked executive power and dismissal of vital select committee findings can wish away the progress that NOTA UK and other groups campaigning for electoral reform have made – so we crack on.
The fight for actual democracy continues… GET INVOLVED!
Sign our 38 Degrees Petition here: https://you.38degrees.org.uk/p/NOTA-UK
Join our Facebook group here: https://www.facebook.com/groups/notauk
Follow us on Twitter here: https://twitter.com/NOTAcampaign
And subscribe to our YouTube channel here: https://www.youtube.com/channel/NOTAUK
We’re making good progress, slowly but surely. If you’ve already helped us spread the word, thank you for your ongoing support. If not, please have a look around the site and consider doing so.
Onwards & Upwards!
NB: The BBC’s ‘Ballot Box Brigade’ that NOTA UK founder Jamie Stanley took part in on 10th May 2015 is no longer available on their radio iPlayer. A link to an overview of it can be found here. Below are four of his five appearances on RT (the first one was live and unfortunately not recorded by us, if you have it let us know!).
DISCLAIMER: For the avoidance of doubt, we are NOT The NOTA Party (aka: Notavote) who were initially planning to stand candidates in 2015 on a supposedly NOTA platform. Their party name was eventually rejected by the Electoral Commission for potentially confusing voters into thinking they would be able to vote for a bona fide NOTA option already, when clearly they would just be voting for another ‘one of the above’. Nor are we subsequent offshoot ‘The Above & Beyond Party’ who also supposedly stood on a single issue NOTA platform, despite clearly having policy ideas ‘above & beyond’ the single issue of NOTA.
Although we understand people’s impatience and appreciate their efforts to draw attention to the need for NOTA, we feel strongly that standing NOTA candidates at an election is a distracting contradiction in terms that leaves our wider, long term, non-partisan campaign vulnerable to being discredited in the eyes of the general public by the many enemies of reform.
We do not think it is necessary to take such risks, given that we have already made significant inroads, something that we can only build on in the future.
NEWS FROM THE ARCHIVES:
On 5th December 2013, former Newsnight anchor Jeremy Paxman publicly called for a None Of The Above option on primetime national television.
NOTA UK founder Jamie Stanley was first interviewed by Eddie Mair on BBC Radio 4’s PM programme on 7th November 2013.
That year we also attended the annual Electoral Reform Society dinner and confirmed support for our campaign from some very senior Lib Dems and many ERS members. It was also useful, but disheartening, to discover that the ERS leadership fundamentally misunderstood NOTA, and apparently still does, and refuses to support it, based on this misunderstanding. A point by point critique of their reasoning can be found here: https://nota-uk.org/2014/08/30/nota-uks-policy-proposal-to-be-debated-by-ers-at-their-agm/