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May 3, 2011
On Thursday 5th May 2011 there will be a referendum in the UK to decide whether to keep the current electoral system or to replace it with a different one. The current one is known as First Past the Post (FPTP), whilst the suggested change is to the Alternative Vote (AV).

As the referendum approaches it has been increasingly apparent that there are many vested interests, and that there have been, on both sides of the debate, various uses of terms, figures and arguments that are exaggerated, confusing, and sometimes just outright deceit.

I therefore wanted to take the opportunity to put across what I feel to be the facts relevant to helping us make an informed choice on whether to vote ‘Yes’ or ‘No’.

As a quick summary, the problems with First Past the Post are:
    • Nominating your preferred candidate can make it more likely that a candidate you like the LEAST will be elected.
    • Introducing another, more popular, candidate can make it more likely that a LESS popular candidate will be elected.
  • MPs can be largely safe in their seats if they have a big enough margin over the runner-up.

This video explains the issues well using the example of a vote in the animal kingdom:

To go into more depth, please navigate around the pages listed in the menu above.