Tuesday, 28 December 2010

Yet Another simple example of AV beating FPTP - so say #Yes2AV

Imagine for a moment an election with two candidates - for the sake of argument one labour one conservative.

The election gives a result of 60% to labour, 40% to conservative - so the voters get a labour MP.

Now imagine again, but this time at the last moment another candidate comes forwards - a LibDem. This (for the sake of argument) splits the previous labour vote, but doesn't change the conservative vote.

The result this time is 25% libdem, 35% labour, 40% conservative - so the voters get a conservative MP.

See what happened? An extra candidate ran, they didn't win, but they changed the result !

Some people claim FPTP is fair because the person with the most votes wins - but this example shows that just isn't so... AV demands  the winning candidate gets more than 50% of the vote. A candidate who only has 40% support could never be elected, regardless of how much the voters are initially split between the other candidates.

So say #Yes2AV !

(ps. Feel free to swap the party names around - this isn't a party political point, it is a voter/representation/democracy point)


  1. I was spitting feathers when the mantra that the electorate voted for a coalition govt kept being spouted. Rubbish, where on the ballot form was that option.

  2. Can't argue with you there Dave. Many politicians seem to spend most of their time creating spurious arguments to support what they planned all along.

  3. Have to say it's great to see your fervent support of the #Yes2AV campaign. Keep it up!

  4. Don't say that AV means that the winner must get 50% of the vote when this is simply not true. If the same election was had under AV and everybody only used one preference, which they can, then the result is the same.

  5. The other lie in this argument is the word "support". If I vote Labout out of choice and then Lib Dem to keep the Tories out my vote for Lib Dem is not support for them, they are just the lesser of two evils, and I would not feel that the Lib Dem was my chosen candidate in any way.

  6. Matthew - in the end there is only one job to fill and someone has to get it. The aim is to fill it with the candidate most acceptable to as many people as possible. In any election 'support' is relative - the 'best of the available candidates', unlikely to be 'the best candidate the world has ever seen' !

  7. Though it should be the best that ran, not the best that the silky AV system didn't eliminate

  8. dbirkin As the example shows the 'best' candidate can be undermined in FPTP by vote splitting - Are you saying that adding candidate C somehow made A worse than B, when we already know that more people prefer A to B ?