Angus Reid have just released a new AV poll. It echoes the last YouGov and ICM polls in showing a NO lead of 16% once don’t knows and won’t votes are excluded – YES 42%, NO 58%. The poll was conducted prior to the bank holiday weekend on Wednesday and Thursday.

Note that while in recent days we’ve appeared to see contradictory polls on AV, with some showing big NO leads and some showing the campaign neck and neck, this is almost wholly down to some polls being published a long term after their fieldwork has finished. The three most recent polls (from, in chronological order, ICM, YouGov and Angus Reid) have all shown identical results of YES 42%, NO 58%. The TNS and Harris polls, while being published more recently than some of these, were actually conducted at the same time as or before that ICM poll.


103 Responses to “Angus Reid show 16 point lead for NO”

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  1. Jamie

    “Anyone who supports centre-left parties, as most of the population do, really should support AV to neuter the right-wing minority.”

    Herein exactly sums up the whingey, unsporting character of a lot (not all) of the ‘YES to AV’ campaign, who are tinkering with the system to produce results they want rather than results that are fair.

    Even if one agrees with your over-simplified analysis that 60% of the electorate is centre-left (wrong anyway, as it includes some centre-right Labour voters and some harder-left voters):
    the point is that this 60% comes from lots of different parties – if their ‘progressive’ agendas are really so similar (rather than merely a hatred of all things Conservative, who they think, rightly or wrongly, will be unable to get a majority under AV) then they should merge or make a formalm, legal pact.

    Otherwise they should stop whingeing and accept that the likely ‘winner’ of an election who will form a government will be the party who gets more votes/seats (rarely are the 2 different) than any other party. This is called ‘First Past The Post’, like all democracies it is not perfect but it is the best on offer.

    (Apologies if you also read this on the other thread)

  2. What no comments. Gosh let me be the first. Now that mandy has put in his spiteful threepennies worth I suspect the No % to increase even more. Is mandy being paid by No10?

  3. So Anthony, are you willing to give us an early prediction of what result we’ll wake up to on 6th May?

  4. A poll of all the more significance because it’s the first from AR to show a lead for No.

  5. “Herein exactly sums up the whingey, unsporting character of a lot (not all) of the ‘YES to AV’ campaign, who are tinkering with the system to produce results they want rather than results that are fair.”

    Unlike a lot (not all) of the No2AV campaign who are anxious to retain the existing system to produce results they want rather than results that are fair?

  6. I can’t believe it will be 16% on the day.

    A margin like that for ‘No’ would put electoral reform off the agenda for the next 25 years.

    My guess is it will be ‘No’ overall but by a margin of 4 to 6%.

    Strikes me that the ‘Let’s punish Clegg” / ‘Let’s tryand kill the Coalition’ vote will be what pushes it firmly into ‘No’ territory. And i don’t think the Clegg/Huhne/Cable whinge-athon of the last few days wil have helped that – if anything it just shows even more starkly that they are the only people who really want this change and that just encourages those who want to be vindictive.

    Maybe if the ‘Yes’ campaign have a more constructive time of it this week and over the weekend – with Lib Dems less in view – the gap will narrow. But with a 4 day bank holiday will anyone be listening anyway?

  7. @ The last Fandango

    My guess is it will be ‘No’ overall but by a margin of 4 to 6%.

    __________________________________________

    No by 0.01% would be good enough for me.

    Just so long as its No. :D

  8. This just shows how bad the Yes2AV campaign has been at campaigning.
    Instead of attacking the No vote on their core arguments, they’ve gone for easily destroyed side-issues.

    “the point is that this 60% comes from lots of different parties – if their ‘progressive’ agendas are really so similar (rather than merely a hatred of all things Conservative, who they think, rightly or wrongly, will be unable to get a majority under AV) then they should merge or make a formalm, legal pact.”
    Two things –
    1) This shows fundamentally that the system is broken. You’re essentially showing how FPTP is broken.
    FPTP reinforces a 2 party system, because if those who are similar in ideology (but different enough to belong to different parties), the only way they can stop a minority (but pluralist) party from gaining power is to unify as a single party.
    So everybody on the left must be part of the ‘left party’, which means only a minority (but pluralist) view within the party gets it’s say.
    So you get two parties who actually only represent a small minority of views.
    Hooray for democracy!
    2) Just because most parties (if you accept the argument) that represent a clear majority of voters are on the left, doesn’t mean that they all have the same blinkered view of the state –
    ‘The left’ is an extremely broad set of ideologies – ranging from anarcho-syndicalism to orthodox state marxism. The idea that all these groups should belong to the same party takes a very simple view of ‘the left’.

    “Otherwise they should stop whingeing and accept that the likely ‘winner’ of an election who will form a government will be the party who gets more votes/seats”
    More than whom? That’s the whole point.
    The minimum threshold for ‘winning’ a seat under FPTP is total voters divided by the number of candidates plus 1.
    Which can lead to a candidate being selected who is rejected heavily by the majority but who represents a plurality.
    AV requires the consent of 50% of the voters plus 1.
    So more than any other party, but not more than 50%.

    Which is what selecting a representative of a community is about – consensus.
    Majority consensus (AV) > Minority consensus (FPTP).

    Of course, AV isn’t the best system at establishing majority consensus – but it’s far better than FPTP, which in a majority of cases is only good at establishing a minority consensus.

    “This is called ‘First Past The Post’, like all democracies it is not perfect but it is the best on offer.”
    Again – define ‘best’. ‘Best’ is a weasel-word (sounds good but completely meaningless) without criteria.
    Best at selecting the candidate that a majority of people would be happy with? (i.e establishing majority consensus) – No. Worse.
    Best at selecting the candidate who can unify enough of a minority (in most cases) to have a larger minority than the other minorities? Yes. FPTP is a better minority system.

    But last I checked, Democracy wasn’t minority representation or rule – it was about majority rule.
    Pluralist (FPTP) systems fail at establishing a majority. Instant Run-off (AV) establishes a minority.

    See also:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Single-winner_voting_system#Comparison_of_single-winner_election_methods
    Pluralist systems (like FPTP) fail most single-member criteria.
    AV fails some, but passes most criteria.
    So your use of ‘best’ is dishonest at worst, inaccurate at best.

    You can all continue with your regularly scheduled polling debate now.

  9. Exactly Tingedfringe

    What makes me disappointed is that the country is not having a legitimate debate about the rights and wrongs of preferential voting.

  10. I think any win for the no campaign / taxpayers’ alliance will severely damage the chance of electoral reform for many years, but a win as big as 16% will kill it off for at least a generation

  11. Well personally I’m just hoping that NO is not more than 55%.

  12. “Pluralist (FPTP) systems fail at establishing a majority. Instant Run-off (AV) establishes a minority.”
    Should read ‘(AV) establishes a majority’

    Proof reading fail!

  13. Constituency betting news:

    Paddy Power are shortening their prices on shock SNP victories in both East Lothian (Iain Gray’s seat) and in… wait for it… Glasgow Shettleston ! -> perhaps better known as ‘Glasgow East’. The SNP candidate’s name? John Mason.

    Google John Mason Glasgow East 2008 ;)

  14. “What makes me disappointed is that the country is not having a legitimate debate about the rights and wrongs of preferential voting.”
    What disappointed me completely was that the Yes campaign accepted the political framework of the debate and were boxed in for where they could move.

    This is something that the right-wing (and No/Yes has become a largely right/left issue – despite UKIP’s support for Yes – another Yes campaign failure) is absolutely fantastic at and left-wing parties tend to be terrible at – controlling the framing of the debate.
    Why this seems to be the case (I notice across countries), I don’t know.

    So the No campaign frames elections in terms of winners and losers. FPTP seems more reasonable because the party who comes first in the first round ‘should win’.
    The Yes campaign frames things the same way so are at an immediate disadvantage – The Yes campaign should have tackled the framing and talked about consensus.

    The No campaign frame ‘One Man One Vote’ as a FPTP-only feature. Framing the debate around the results of the first round.
    The Yes campaign should have framed it around the benefit of rounds – so a minority cannot be elected. (I almost typed ‘cannot win’, falling in to the same framework).

    Hats off to the No campaign. They had the easier campaign to manage but managed the framing of the debate perfectly.

  15. How sad. Change is impossible in this country.

  16. Tinged Fringe

    ““Pluralist (FPTP) systems fail at establishing a majority. Instant Run-off (AV) establishes a majority.”

    No they don’t! Just by giving people more than one vote, thus increasing the number everybody gets, doesn’t bring you any closer to majority – in fact probably further away.

    For arguments’ sake assume that there are 100 voters, with 100 extra votes (preferences) counted by the time a winner is arrived at, so total 200 ‘votes’ are counted:

    The candidate with the most 1st prefs gets 40/100.

    The eventual winner (whether he/she is the same person is irrelevant for the purposes of this example) gets 51/200.

    It will be called 51%, but it isn’t a majority at all. He/she will have been elected on a minority of votes i.e. 25.5% (possibly at the expense of someone who was 40% of people’s actual choice!).

    All this nonsense from the ‘YES’ camp that votes aren’t counted twice is nonsense. They are, as shown above.

    Not sure if I’ll have time to point out the holes in some of your other points today or not. :)

  17. Also – to make something clearer from an earlier post – I said ‘AV passes most criteria’, that was untruthful.
    AV passes 6 out of 12 criteria listed in that comparison box. So half, not most.

    FPTP passes 4 out of 12 criteria listed. 2 of which AV also passes.

    Of course, we could use the Schulze method – which could honestly be described as the ‘best’ method (since it conforms to 11 out of 12 criteria), but that is hideously complex, so the No campaign could honestly use that argument against it.

  18. The main reason I don’t like FPTP is the lack of proportionality involved. I am not convinced that AV does anything to address this at all. All of the other arguments for and against AV seem like white noise to me.

    Theoretically (and I accept it is an absurd hypothetical) under AV a party could get 49% of the votes nationally and win no seats at all. It does rather seem to be about “ganging up on the ones you hate” rather than “supporting the ones you like”.

    I think No2AV have hit a nerve with the overall idea that your first preference means more (or should do) than your other preferences. Their way of expressing this may be a bit illiterate, even dishonest but it certainly has traction.

    I am still an undecided though.

  19. BT,
    But you’ve misrepresented preferential voting completely with the old ‘one man, one vote’ farce.

    If we establish that political representation is about having the representative that best represents a community and that an election is about finding the best representative of that community then we need a method of finding this.

    FPTP fails this criterion because it ignores that groups within a community may have complex preferences of who they want to represent them.
    FPTP assumes ‘largest group is most popular group’ – but unless it has support of over 50%, this may not be the case.

    AV is a method which attempts to establish a majority consensus – i.e finding a compromise that a majority of people would be most happy with, if no party has the support of over 50% of the population.

    A very simple example –
    Right-Wing party A – 40%
    Left-Wing Party A – 35%
    Left-Wing Party B – 25%

    Clearly, left-wing party B would prefer Left-wing party A to represent them in parliament if left-wing Party B could not win.
    FPTP assumes wrongly that the preferences of the largest minority are the same as the consensus view of the majority.

    Now – while AV can sometimes fail to return a condorcet winner (i.e the choice that is actually the most popular given that no party holds a majority of support) – it will never return a condorcet loser (the choice that is least popular with the majority).

    Of course, if elections aren’t about finding the most preferred (i.e a majority consensus) candidate, given the options available – of course FPTP is ‘better’.

    It doesn’t matter how many ‘votes’ (again, framing the debate dishonestly) an individual has, as long as he has just as many votes as everybody else.
    AV does not fail in this regard. Each voter has one vote per round, the same as everybody else,

  20. If the preferences under AV were weighted it might make some sense, e.g. score 1 for 1st choice, 0.5 for 2nd, 0.3, 0.1, 0.05 etc (jolly complicated counts though!).

    As it is, AV is less proportional/more unfair than FPTP. It is in fact moving in the opposite direction to PR.

  21. I’d vote for the Schulze method if it was offered in a straight referendum against plurality! Now, if the referendum also included a range or approval voting option and a sensible MMP option, I’d be truly conflicted – but which voting system should this referendum be conducted under? :)

    Somewhat more seriously, I’ve sent off my postal vote, a grudging ‘Yes’. I don’t care much for IRV, but I do feel obliged to support electoral reform in the hope of getting another referendum with better options in 5 years or to. I feel that the referendum, as it stands, is a real coup for Cameron and a big failure by the LD negotiating team: why sell your party’s soul in a deal with the devilTories for a ‘miserable little compromise’ no-one really wants, and that’s a marginal improvement at best?

  22. Bah. The previous post wasn’t meant to read ‘devilTories’, but instead have ‘devil’ be struck through in a jocular manner.

  23. @BT Says.

    I wouldn’t go quite so far as to say that it is less proportional than FPTP. It has the potential to be, but in practice will mainly benefit the LDs, and as they are underrepresented that would make things more proportional, most of the time.

    But it certainly doesn’t deal with the central issue in any meaningful way. It is a very “negative” voting system. AV Plus would be fine in my view. Pure AV is not a system I like at all. I will only vote for it if someone convinces me that it is a genuine stepping stone to something better. I can see that possibility but am currently unconvinced.

  24. @ BT

    “Herein exactly sums up the whingey, unsporting character of a lot (not all) of the ‘YES to AV’ campaign, who are tinkering with the system to produce results they want rather than results that are fair.”

    Do you believe that a party gaining 35% of the national vote and a working majority is ‘fair’? Think back to the 2005 election result – it was an insult to democracy.

    I think many people want fairer results, indeed, which is why I am a firm supporter of proportional representation. Democracy is surely about representation of the people, which FPTP fails to do.

    Now, sadly, PR is not on the ballot paper, and AV is. In the 1950’s when 95% of people voted Tory or Labour, FPTP worked pretty well. Indeed, in a two-party system it does work well.

    The problem is that now only 65% of people vote Tory/Labour which enables governments to rule on a 35% share of the vote. AV is better than FPTP in a multi-party democracy, but far from proportional.

    AV is clearly not perfect, but it’s better than FPTP. For people who want reform to go further, voting ‘yes’ is essential to send the message that there is a real appetite for change. If the result is ‘no’ then electoral reform is off the agenda for generations.

  25. “If the preferences under AV were weighted it might make some sense, e.g. score 1 for 1st choice, 0.5 for 2nd, 0.3, 0.1, 0.05 etc (jolly complicated counts though!).”
    That seems a very arbitrary number system you’re using, but yes, it would probably be better than AV if weighted correctly.
    But that doesn’t mean that AV is worse than FPTP at electing the candidate (given the options) preferred by the majority.

    AV does however mean that the candidate least preferred by the majority does not get elected.
    Hence, it is better than FPTP, which fails this criteria.

    But since the choice is AV vs FPTP (which is the only option given), all other options are irrelevant.
    Other single member systems > AV > FPTP.

    “As it is, AV is less proportional/more unfair than FPTP.”
    Neither system is proportional. AV and FPTP are both single-member systems.
    Single member systems are not proportional, by definition, since they elect single members.

    Define ‘Unfair’.
    It’s easy to use emotional words that are nonsensical without context, but please define how AV is less ‘fair’ than FPTP and to which group it would be unfair to.
    Are we talking procedural fairness – where AV is equally as fair as FPTP?
    Proportional fairness – where neither is fairer than the other, since proportionality of single-member systems is largely about geographical spread of voters?

  26. TingedFringe

    Why is “the choice that is least unpopular” better than “the choice that is most popular”???

    Answer: it isn’t! AV is about collectively/negatively voting to keep somebody out who is the most popular (otherwise what’s the point of it, it will produce the samem results as FPTP). It’s negative as well as complicated.

    The driving force behind the ‘YES’ campaign seems to be a ‘spoilt brat it’s-not-fair’ mentality that people don’t like the fact that Labour or Conservative can form a government on less than 50% of the vote even though it’s a game that treats everybody fairly with the same rules and has given stable government for 200 years+.

    If you’re good enough to win the game, as some individuals have shown them to be, against all odds in some seats, you can win. If you don’t want to play by the same rules as everybody else, don’t play (or move to Italy or somewhere else with different rules).

  27. “Why is “the choice that is least unpopular” better than “the choice that is most popular”???”

    AV is about choosing the most popular candidate. Thats the very basis of how AV works – the candidate with the most people expressing support for them wins.

    Given that people don’t have to give a number 2 or 3 choice, and only will if they are happy for that person to represent them in parliament, I think it’s safe to say AV has the ‘most popular’ ground covered.

  28. Jamie

    “Do you believe that a party gaining 35% of the national vote and a working majority is ‘fair’?”

    Yes, if they play by the same rules as everyone else, and the ‘rules’ are producing reasonably competent government.

    “Think back to the 2005 election result – it was an insult to democracy.”

    No it wasn’t, it was just annoying to somewhere between 1-65% of people. (After all, 64% maybe had Labour as their second choice anyway – we’ll never know :))

  29. It seems many of the yes to AV people only want the voting system changed in order to effectively lock conservatives and right wingers out of the decision making processes in this country. That seems a dangerous road to go down for many reasons. It will encourage a rise in extremism if a large chunk of the population (say 40% or thereabouts) feel they are being conspired against. It will also mean that left wing governments that have bankrupted the country (think 1979 and 2010) cannot be booted out in favour of a financially prudent, conservative administration.

  30. “Why is “the choice that is least unpopular” better than “the choice that is most popular”???”
    It isn’t. Thanks for dishonestly replying to what I said –
    The most popular candidate is the best result – this is what’s known as the condorcet winner.
    The least popular candidate ‘winning’ is the worst result – this is what’s known as the condorcet loser.

    AV does not always elect the condorcet winner.
    AV never elects the condorcet winner.

    FPTP does not always elect the condorcet winner.
    FPTP does sometimes elect the condorcet loser.

    Given that AV never returns the least desired result and FPTP can return the least desired result, AV is better than FPTP.

    “even though it’s a game that treats everybody fairly with the same rules”
    AV treats everybody fairly within the same rules. This is known as procedural fairness.
    Under AV, in each round, each person gets one vote until one candidate gets 50% of the vote. After each round, one candidate is eliminated unless this is the case.

    “stable government for 200 years+”
    Ah, the old ‘stable’ chestnut.
    And by ‘stable’, you mean ‘single party government’.
    So as the number of parties increases, the likelyhood that single-party represents a majority of people decreases in likelyhood.
    So stability has nothing to do with democratic outcomes.
    PR hardly ever returns a ‘stable’ (i.e single party) government but it is the most representative, and thus most democratic.
    Single-party democracies (i.e dictatorships) always return a single-party government but are the least democratic.

    So therefore, judging by your criteria, a single-party election is the ‘best’ system.
    It returns a stable government and treats all voters ‘fairly’ – i.e within the rules of the system.

    “If you don’t want to play by the same rules as everybody else, don’t play (or move to Italy or somewhere else with different rules).”
    Or we could change the rules of the electoral system – which is our right to – given a sovereign parliament.

    Also, I love the old ‘if you don’t like it, move abroad’ argument – surely this is an argument against any change.
    So, women can’t vote? Don’t like it, move abroad to somewhere that does let women vote!

  31. “AV is about choosing the most popular candidate. Thats the very basis of how AV works –…”

    er, no it isn’t. By definition in many cases it’s what I said. It’s about ‘choosing the least loathed/unpopular one that I might just about be able to endure as long as it’s not Joe Soap from the XYZ party, I can’t stand him.’

    Anyway, I really must go so you can all rant at me all you like and I won’t answer back now!

  32. One last go!

    “Under AV, in each round, each person gets one vote until one candidate gets 50% of the vote. After each round, one candidate is eliminated unless this is the case.”

    Ah, this old chestnut. Pretending there are several rounds when in fact they are all done the same time.

    If in fact it was done in several rounds like you dishonestly imply (:)), as per the French presidential election, that would be an entirely different scenario. You would know exactly who’s left at each round and make an informed judgement, rather than blindly putting down your choices for rounds 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 …all at once! (as in AV :)

    Bubbye.

  33. “For arguments’ sake assume that there are 100 voters, with 100 extra votes (preferences) counted by the time a winner is arrived at, so total 200 ‘votes’ are counted…”

    Sorry but you need to start by understanding how preferential voting works. There are no extra votes. Everyone has just one single transferable vote. At no stage in your example will more than 100 votes be counted.

    Argue the merits of each system by all means but anyone who claims some voters get extra votes is either misinformed or a liar.

  34. And this is my point about the Yes campaign’s failure – the campaign doesn’t tackle the No campaign’s framing of the debate.

    So No gets to use words like ‘unfair’, ‘winner’ and ‘stable’ without having to define the words.
    When pressed, these words are irrelevant to determining democratic outcomes.

    But rather than challenge the framing of the debate, the Yes campaign have accepted it.
    And focused on largely dishonest arguments like ‘It’ll make MPs work harder’, ‘It’ll stop MPs expenses’, ‘It’ll forever prevent the BNP’ – the Yes campaign has spectacularly failed.

  35. For me the most important aspect of democracy is how to get rid of a bad/unpopular government without having to take to the streets. This was successfully achieved by FPTP in 1979, 1997 and to a degree 2010. If the Lib Dems become permanant coalition partners under AV then this would fail my own personal test (regardless of their merits or otherwise). With regards polling, are any of the OPs adjusted for likely turnout given that London has no other vote whereas Scot & NI have important elections on the same day.

  36. “Pretending there are several rounds when in fact they are all done the same time.”
    Okay – let me be clearer:
    There are several rounds of counting, not several rounds of voting.
    In each round of counting, each person gets one vote; if the candidate that they put as their first preference gets eliminated, their second preference is used for their vote.
    And so on.

  37. Very sorry to disappoint, but my canvassing experience over the last month, has shown minuscule support for YES.
    Admittedly this is in rock solid Tory country. I get the feeling that support of the NO campaign is more than making up for HS2.

  38. “If in fact it was done in several rounds like you dishonestly imply (:)), as per the French presidential election, that would be an entirely different scenario. You would know exactly who’s left at each round and make an informed judgement, rather than blindly putting down your choices for rounds 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 …all at once! (as in AV).

    Of course it’s done in several rounds. And there’s nothing blind about having to list your preferred order beforehand. Why should this change depending on who’s eliminated?

    What you would are suggesting instead, though, is a system that rewards tactical voting. Rather than have to declare preferences beforehand you want voters to be able to change allegiance during the ballot. Using the racing metaphor so beloved by No2AV, you want to pause the race, examine the progress of the horses then switch your bet accordingly.

    Just try that down at the bookies.

  39. Like a number of others on this site, I canvass for a political party. Whatever flavor government you support, you will never understand the British electorate until you have stood on their door steps. It is then that by and large, their complete disinterest hits you in the face like a bowl of custard. The complication of AV is self defeating.

  40. The amount of the money the No campaign are throwing at it I am not surprised they are leading. Everytime I log onto UKPollingReport I see Nick Clegg’s face and the no logo. It’s time the No campaign stopped the personal attacks on Clegg really. It’s uncalled for and negative. The Yes campaign are running a positive campaign.

  41. AV is negative voting, I think you should be trying to elect the person you want in, not ganging up with other parties, to ensure you keep someone out.

    When it comes to britains government, we dont want 2nd or 3rd best.

  42. @ MARCHONDOWNTHELINE
    It is rather rich for someone who proudly shows their Labour colours to complain about the bad mouthing of Nick Clegg. Six months or so ago, I was disgusted by the attitude shown by some of your comrades towards the Deputy PM. As you say, uncalled for and negative.

  43. i think that Sapper has this right.I said a long time ago that people would never vote for something they could not understand.AV is complicated to explain to people who
    are basically not that interested in politics,ie,the majority of
    people.

  44. Is it really just Left/Right? I do not think so. UKIP are for AV – whilst the remnants of the Communist Party are for FPTP. The Labour party is split, but perhaps more AV than against; that is despite some claims that Labour would lose out under AV. Most Nationalist parties seem to be pro AV, and they split left/right – only the Unionists (all of them) are anti AV. Interestingly the NI Greens are also calling for a no to AV vote.

    No system is perfect – apart from a purist form of STV in multi-member seats, using open lists (sorry to be geeky) – but that undermines the constituency link for MPs and would make them less accountable in my opinion.

    As far as I can see it is mainly MPs in safe seats who want to retain FPTP, and almost everyone else wants some form of change. There is still a huge pool of undecided. Conservatives will vote for FPTP as their underlying ethos is to change nothing. Though there are some Conservative for AV groups who are being drowned out.

    What went wrong here was that only the LibDems were seen as pro-change and they are polling so badly than many people just want to hit out at Nick Clegg in any way they can.

    Pity – as a golden chance for reform will now be lost for a generation.

    Finally can any anti-AV person please explain to me why it is unreasonable to require an MP to obtain an outright majority of 50% of the electorate? That is what AV delivers, by an easy and low cost elimination ballot. AV does not deliver PR

  45. Just had a doorstep canvaser from Labour. Considering this is an ultra-safe conservative area, either they think they have a good chance of picking off formerly safe conservatives because of LibDem switching, or they’re going for a national vote share landslide by pushing hard everywhere.

  46. BT –
    absolutely correct.

  47. I just posted my AV vote.

    I sat and looked at the Ballot paper for ages, thinking of that (insert desired rude word) Clegg and of our blocked Independence Referendum Bill (thanks Annabel, Iain and Tavish!)

    Anyhoo, i seriously considered spoiling it by writing “Scottish independence” over it. Then I seriously considered voting ‘No’, to help screw the Lib Dems.

    But in the end I voted ‘Yes’, for reasons that I’m not entirely sure I understand myself.

    I bet I am not alone in not having a clue how to vote on this one. The first time in my life I was undecided when I had the actual ballot paper in front of me.

  48. The ‘no’ camp (aka The Conservative Party) are running an extremely effective campaign. Unfortunately it’s one based largely on lies, not least the ‘One Person, One Vote’ lie. (See, for instance .) The ‘yes’ campaign has, in contrast, been largely useless. They needed to get at least one tabloid paper on board and made use of independents like Martin Bell to promote their cause rather than alternative comedians.

  49. Stuart, you are most certainly not alone.People who are
    interested in politics or who are intending to vote are I
    believe,uncertain about this,unless they are voting along
    strongly partisan lines of course.I have a feeling that there
    could be a surprise here.

  50. See, for instance, should have been followed by:

    http://www.conservatives.com/Campaigns/No_to_AV_Group.aspx

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