As I am out of the country on the 5th of May, I have voted with a postal ballot for the first time. And I make no bones about it, I voted yes in the AV referendum. People are, at best confused about what is on offer, and at worst, uninterested.
Why then have I voted yes? Well, for the simple reason of it being a fairer vote. Now, before anyone says, “it’s not the fairest way to elect” or “won’t AV hand the election over to the person who came second?”, I will say to them you are correct… in a way.
At the moment, unless a candidate wins more than 50% of the vote, then I would argue that they haven’t got a mandate. True, they do have the largest number of votes, but they do not have the backing of the majority. In an area where a winning candidate gains 40% of the vote, that leaves 60% of the electors opposing the winner – where’s the majority there?
Under AV, although a candidate might not have most votes in the first round, they might very well have so by the final round. It is human nature to have more than one preference, and so why should electing our representatives be any different? Ok, you might have a favorite candidate who you would always vote for, but there might very well be a second candidate, or a third candidate you like.
Under AV the winner WILL have to win 50% of the electors vote – and so a true majority will then back the winning candidate.