There’s always a winner

Pye Nest Road


Tim Kirker’s letter (Your say, March 29) is both confused and theoretical regarding the Alternative Voting for general elections.

I can best explain the practical effect by applying AV to the actual 2010 general election results.

A recent survey showed that in 70 percent of seats not a single voter for Labour, Conservative or Lib-Dem would have had a second preference counted, rising to 90 percent if the Lib-Dems are discounted.

By contrast, in some constituencies voters for the minority BNP would have had their preferences counted six times before a candidate got 50 percent. In all, BNP voters would have had two or more preferences counted in 193 constituencies.

Tim’s argument is based on the myth of there being, in his words ‘no clear winner in the first count’.

But there is always a clear winner, just not always to some arbitrary figure of the vote.

A majority is a majority, whatever the figure is. If it’s below some arbitrary figure that does not give licence to tamper with it.

Tim says: “The total number of votes counted will be unchanged”. I’m afraid Tim you are confusing votes cast with votes counted.

Clearly votes cast for minority parties are counted more times than votes cast for majority parties, as the example for the 2010 general election shows.

As other have said in ‘Your say’, with AV not all votes are equal.

Paul Campbell