Five Reasons Why I’ll Be Voting No to AV on May 5th…

Here are the five main reasons why I will be voting No to AV on May 5th: –

The seat winner does not need to secure fifty percent of the total votes cast under AV- A major pillar of the Yes to AV campaign is that a candidate needs to secure over (or approaching) fifty percent of the total votes cast to win- this simply is not the case as ranking every candidate is not compulsory and votes are “lost” throughout the rounds. Therefore (non compulsory ranking) AV is essentially a top up version of First Past The Post which will create two types of MPs, those who have a majority of the total votes cast in their constituencies and those who do not.

AV will not get rid of safe seats- No voting system from First Past The Post to Proportional Representation abolishes safe seats. Whether MPs are elected in constituencies or by a list system there will always be a core vote for each of the major parties which will ensure a third of seats will be safe. AV would admittedly put more seats “in play” so to speak, but the exact number would be unclear until the boundary review is conducted later in the Parliamentary cycle.

AV isn’t the first step towards PR- Unless Labour and/or the Conservatives decide Proportional Representation is the way forward (which is highly unlikely since they both like being in Government on their own) PR will remain a pipe dream for the smaller parties and the voting system’s supporters. AV being implemented will not bring PR a step closer as isn’t a proportional system.

Counts under AV will take longer- Having several rounds will inevitably make the process of counting votes in certain seats longer, especially if each there are recounts in any round.

Alliances will be formed before the General Election if AV was implemented- Smaller parties’ policies will take a back seat to their second preferences under AV. For certain parties an alliance would be easy to formulate (for example the Green Party would likely back Labour as their second preference) whereas for others it would be much trickier (which party the Lib Dems back as a second preference is a blog post in itself). I can foresee under AV the media would concentrate on second preferences and little else for those parties who have not got a chance of forming a majority Government in the UK.

As a side note, I personally support an Additional Member System which is a hybrid of First Post The Post and Proportional Representation and obviously don’t believe AV is radical enough to vote in favour of.

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One Response to “Five Reasons Why I’ll Be Voting No to AV on May 5th…”

  1. I think you are wrong on your third point. A ‘no’ vote will be taken by the Tories as a definitive vote for no reform at all. We won’t see another referendum for at least 30 years. A yes vote, on the other hand, will show a willingness for reform and could lead to further reform. It might not, but it’s much more likely to than a ‘no’ vote.

    You also don’t address what many (including myself) think of the main advantage of AV – the end of tactical voting. This will be the single most important reform for making people feel more involved in politics. It will help put an end to political disengagement.

    The system is broken and people don’t feel that politics is something that they can have any impact on. We have to fix this.

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