George Eustice would have us believe that the AV system of voting is extremely complex. In fact all you have to do is rank the candidates in your order of preference, from one to however many candidates there are. It’s really not rocket science is it? Once the voter has done this then the result is determined in the same way as the X-Factor unfolds – except it happens in one count except over several weeks.
If you watch the X-Factor you will know that every week the public vote for their favourite and the singer with the least votes gets booted off the show. The following week all the people who voted for the singer that lost the previous week now choose their next favourite and vote for them instead – and so on until, at the end, the singer with over 50% of the vote wins the record contract.
This is what happens with AV.
As the least popular candidate gets booted out of the election so the votes that he or she got get distributed to the next favourite candidate on the list.
It’s as simple as that!
George will also tell you that AV is very unfair because some people get to vote more than once.
This is also a complete load of nonsense.
In fact everyone, clearly, has the same vote. The point is if you have voted for the front runner then your vote continues to count for them in the subsequent round. If you really want to think of each round as a separate poll then everyone has the same number of votes – but if you vote for the front-runner then your vote remains with them.
Now George Eustice, of course, knows all of this so why is he so set against AV and why does he come up with such blatantly misleading and scaremongering untruths?
Perhaps it might be that Mr Eustice is very afraid that, being a Tory, no-one is going to give him a second or third preference. The Tories usually have a strong core of voters that go out to vote come rain or shine – but not many others would normally consider voting for the Conservatives. This means that as the lowest ranked candidates get kicked off the show so anyone but the Conservative candidate is likely to pick up the next round of voting preferences.
George might start off with 35% of the vote but that percentage is likely to decrease as the result is calculated, and by the final round he has only a slim chance of winning.
AV is not a particularly good or representative voting system. Mebyon Kernow believe that the best system would be a Single Transferrable Vote system, achieving true proportional representation. We have campaigned for proportional representation for many years. However, AV is a big improvement on First Past the Post and is much more preferable.