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What difference does AV make?

1) TACTICAL VOTING –  With AV, if you are worried about party C getting in, it doesn’t matter whether you vote for A or B; C will either get 50% or they won’t, irrelevant of whether you vote A or B. Therefore there is barely any incentive to alter your preferences and vote tactically based on who you think others will nominate.

2) VOTE SPLITTING – If there are two or more similar parties who together command a majority, then as each of these parties are eliminated nominations will be made instead for the other similar parties. This happens until someone has more than 50%. So this means new candidates (that might better-represent the voters) can stand for election with a much reduced risk of harming other similar candidates.

3) SAFE SEATS – With the above two problems largely fixed, people can nominate whoever they want, meaning that if a current MP becomes unpopular, or a much better new candidate comes along, the current MP could be relegated to many people’s 2nd (or lower) preference, and thus lose their seat, regardless of whether they previously had 25%, 50% or even 100% of the nominations cast. No seat would be ‘safe’.

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