Monday, November 19, 2012

The Police and Crime Commissioner election demonstrates the falsehoods of No2AV.

Remember we had a referendum some time ago about changing our election method? Remember how those who wanted to keep the First Past the Post system bombarded the electorate with various negative claims about the the Alternative Vote system? It was too complicated so no-one would understand it; it would take to long to count the votes so millions would have to be spent on specialist counting machines; that the person who came last might end up winning.

So how did the recent Police and Crime Commissioner elections that used the AV system turn out? With no problems reported whatsoever.

Okay it took longer to count with some areas taking several days rather than the normal overnight process, but then again this was an area not just a district. In West Mercia we had a 134,850 votes that's over 2.5x the number who voted in our General Election; it was also a new process. No machines required.

Who won in our area; did the loser end up winning?

Adrian Blackshaw (Conservative) - 49,298
Bill Longmore (Independent) - 50,900
Simon Murphy (Labour) - 34,652

In First Past the Post Mr Longmore would have won, but only with 38% of the vote. But with AV Mr Murphy name was dropped and the Alternative Vote counted. Surprisingly 5,201 of the Labour voters voted for Mr Blackshaw bringing his total to 54,499, but 21,055 did so for Mr Longmore bringing his total to 71,995 and a win with 56.9% of the vote.

In other words had the choice been between just Adrian and Bill; Bill would have won.

Okay before anyone says anything this wasn't really a true Alternative Voting system in practice it was Supplementary Voting regardless of the number of candidates only one 'extra' vote was allowed. Still it showed that the principle was fine and all the doom-mongering of those clinging to the FPtP system sound hollow.

We now have a Police and Crime Commissioner who was actually voted for by the majority of those who chose to vote. Okay so turnout was half that of a normal election so it was to an extent a total waste of time in that respect, but still an actual win.