A blog by Luke Akehurst about politics, elections, and the Labour Party - With subtitles for the Hard of Left. Just for the record: all the views expressed here are entirely personal and do not necessarily represent the positions of any organisations I am a member of.

Wednesday, February 03, 2010


Some of my best friends in politics are ardent first-past-the-post supporters, but having been a member of the Labour Campaign for Electoral Reform since 1990 I am delighted by the PM's announcement of a parliamentary vote on a referendum on changing to the Alternative Vote.

This is about giving voters more choice on two levels - enabling them to say yes or no to change and if it goes through enabling them to rank the candidates/parties rather than just voting for one with an "X". This would ensure that no one needed to use their first vote "tactically" because tactical voting can be done through the second and lower preferences - so we would suddenly discover a hidden army of first preference Labour supporters in Con vs. LD seats who have been voting tactically for the Lib Dems for years. It means there are fewer wasted votes, and all MPs would have the mandate of having had the backing of a majority of voters in their seat.

Of course it isn't a proportional system - and we need a system where share of seats in the Commons more accurately reflects share of vote if we are to apply Labour's values of justice and equity (one vote, one value rather than power being concentrated in the hands of voters in a small numbers of marginal seats) to the electoral system and to give Labour voters in safe seats and un-winnable seats a fair share of influence on the overall outcome and hence an incentive to turn out. But it's a good start so I welcome this Damascene conversion.


Blogger Hughes Views said...

Every journey starts with a small step.

Av will do although I rather like the French run-off system because it's so simple (no worrying whether a vote of 2 ranks higher than a vote of 1 for example - I'm a maths fan as well as a francophile).

It would certainly be nice to have confirmation that there are loads more Labour supporters in Cheltenhma than our election results currently indicate...

10:18 am, February 03, 2010

Blogger Newmania said...

But it's a good start so I welcome this Damascene conversion.

Ha ha ... even you cannot resist some aknowledgement of the truth. This is a suck up to the ever bribe-able Lib Dems, and if this vital "principle" was on Brown`s to do list he kept it fucking quiet for ten years. So whats the headline Luke , second choice Party wants second choices counted ... well fuck me sideways do they now ?

12:41 pm, February 03, 2010

Anonymous Rich said...

Well voting liberal gets is real voting reform so why bother with labour.

10:55 pm, February 03, 2010

Anonymous Julian Ware-Lane said...

I also like AV as it will change how we campaign. Instead of swing voters in key marginals getting a disproportionate share of political attention, all voters will become important. I think it will help heal the disengagement that lots of the electorate currently feel.

11:26 am, February 04, 2010

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Fun how desperate the tory trolls have become, especially now they cannot reach 40% and their lead is just slithering away . . .

A referendum on AV looks like another piece of democratic reform from the most constitutionally revolutionary government since 1832. (Women's suffrage was brought in in two tranches, so this seems a fair claim)

If the choice is that stark Im shall happily vote for.

An added bonus will be that, while a Labour Government will still be possible, a Tory one will not.

Trust. Chameleon. Successor. Very Big Issues.

Not Flash, Gordon - looks to deserve trust.

2:40 am, February 05, 2010

Blogger Immanuel Kant said...

We need PR.

11:33 am, February 05, 2010

Anonymous river thames london apartments said...

I support AV it is the best way to ensure the majority of the public get the candidate they want.

12:15 am, April 08, 2010


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