ED MILIBAND has been urged to back proportional representation for local government elections south of the Border by campaigners who point out that it helped Labour in Scotland.

The Electoral Reform Society will release a study today, Towards One Nation, which is a direct challenge to Mr Miliband's Labour vision of a One Nation Party, and points to the success of Labour in Scotland since it embraced electoral reform.

In the north of England there is similar resistance to proportional voting to that which existed in Scotland before it was introduced. The report disputes the claim that the Scottish proportional system, introduced in 2007, hurt Labour, showing instead that it has arguably benefited the party.

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Labour now has 16 council leaders, compared to 12 in 1999 under First Past the Post and it has governing influence in more councils than before, rising from 15 in 1999 to 19 in 2013. The number of Labour council leaders is the same as in 1999, at 16, and the number of Labour administrations has increase to 19.

Willie Sullivan, director of the Electoral Reform Society Scotland, said: "The decline of Labour in Scottish local government may well have been over-reported . It is more a decline of a particular type of Labour local government based on mass-majority single-party states."