As I spend more time Looking at FPTP and AV and having discussions and debates the issues get clearer and clearer and arguments get more and more refined. The latest simple argument to come to the surface is as follows.
The winner of an election held under FPTP could quite possibly have lost a head to head election against the person who came second (and/or even the candidate who came third!). So in a straight choice, the winner under FPTP may well *not* the most popular of the top candidates.
This is why AV insists that a candidate must have more than 50% of the counted votes - once the weaker candidates are knocked out, the candidate who is elected clearly *is* more popular than their close rivals. With more than 50% voting for them, they are the majority candidate.
There are some people who like the idea of minority parties being able to 'steal' elections in this way, (because votes against them are split between many other parties), it may even make parliament more proportional - but I certainly don't think this is the way to fix other broken parts of our political system. AV will repair our broken elections, next we can repair our broken parliament.