After revealing the group of frontline “old guard” Conservative & Labour politicians who want to cling on to the broken FPTP voting system, the offical No campaign have now released a list of 20 new intake MPs (10 Conservative, 10 Labour) who are against the proposed upgrade of our elections to AV, & believe in the prepared statement they all signed that the public aren’t interested in changing our electoral system- the fact that grassroots groups for Take Back Parliament & Yes To Fairer Votes have sprung up & grown across many UK Towns & Cities since the summer is neither here nor there then! The view of No2AV & these MPs also disregards the fact that a lot of people are still unaware of next spring’s referendum which doesn’t necessarily equate at all to a dislike of change to our electoral system at all either. This list also continues to emphasise how this campaign is continuing to turn into a battle between the politicians & the public.
The most telling statistic for me about this list of anti-reform “rookie” MPs is that over three-quarters of them (16 out of 20) won their seats with less than 50% of the vote- & of course under the proposed AV system an MP has to achieve 50% or more to win. Maybe these MPs have other principled reasons to oppose AV, but the stench of pure self & party interest to maintain a system where a candidate can win with just 30% of the vote & a party can win an outright 57% of seats with just 36% of the total vote as Labour did in 2005 hangs heavy over this band of No2AV supporters.
Listed below are the 20 MPs in question- we may revisit some of the MPs individually, time & interest permitting. What really intrigues me is how different (or not) the final outcomes in many of these seats could be under AV- we don’t know exactly how much the simple negative ploy of tactical voting under FPTP is a factor in these seats, & whether being freed up to make a positive, sophisticated choice under AV would make a drastic difference.
At least voters would be able to make those kind of ranked preference choices with AV though, & maybe that’s the really crucial point about improving our democracy.
(table & links courtesy of Paul Perrin – Free People Of England blog)
|Name||Party||Constituency||% of votes|
|Chris Williamson||Lab||Derby North||33.0%|
|Gavin Shuker||Lab||Luton South||34.9%|
|George Eustice||Con||Camborne and Redruth||37.6%|
|Julie Hilling||Lab||Bolton West||38.5%|
|Tristram Hunt||Lab||Stoke-on-Trent Central||38.7%|
|Jake Berry||Con||Rossendale and Darwen||41.8%|
|Julie Elliott||Lab||Sunderland Central||45.9%|
|Thomas Docherty||Lab||Dunfermline & West Fife||46.3%|
|Karl Turner||Lab||Kingston upon Hull East||47.9%|
|Zac Goldsmith||Con||Richmond Park & North Kingston||49.7%|
|Nick Boles||Con||Grantham and Stamford||50.3%|
|Michael McCann||Lab||East Kilbride Strathaven & Lesmahagow||51.5%|
|Dominic Raab||Con||Esher and Walton||58.9%|