Benefits of the Alternative Vote
MPs have support of 50% of their constituency.
Ultimately, it will mean increased legitimacy, as MPs really will represent the majority of their constituency; which is good fundamental of democracy. In some cases, this will mean MPs have to work harder to gain votes.
AV is simple, tried and tested alternative.
For voters it’s as simple as chosing 1, 2, 3. It is used by millions in the UK in clubs and societies. When politicians elect their own (for example, the Commons speaker) they chose AV.
Reduces need for Tactical Voting.
AV helps to eliminate much of the need for tactical voting and squeeze messages – so people choices are better represented.
Allows the Face of British Politics to change
At a time when people are complaining that politicians are out of touch, AV allows real campaigners to stand alongside ‘out-of-touch’ politicians without fear of splitting the vote. Gary Elsby could have stood in Stoke, overlooked in preference for Tristam Hunt, without fear that he would be responsible for Labour losing the seat – so voters can choose.
Forcing a Real Conversation with the Electorate
The current electoral system means the election is effectively decided by 460,000 swing voters in a small number of constituencies (normally called the ‘ruling minority’). All the major parties know this and spend millions of pounds on ‘talking’ to these voters. This means the rest of us get political niceties – fobbed off – as our vote doesn’t matter. So in 2010, we had 6 weeks of the major parties discussing £6b of Govt efficiency savings, while they all knew they had to make massive cuts. AV will make the 2/3rds of seats marginal, so the parties can’t target a very small number of voters and are forced to have a conversation with the electorate as whole.
Reduce Negative Campaigning
Where MPs need to reach out to as many voters as possible, there will be less incentive to create imaginary differences or campaign negatively.
A Modern Choice
FPTP assumes people chose one candidate and have equal contempt for all others. Real life decisions are rarely so black and white. AV allows voters to express themselves more honestly.
At the same time, it maintains the constituency link, it will continue to throw Governments out, and is proven to not lead to more coalitions.