Friday, October 01, 2010

The Impact of AV

The use of the Alternative Vote delivered the Labour Party a leader who was not their first choice. They're stuck with Ed Miliband now - and he may yet prove more impressive than his over-rated brother (see below) - but the impact of AV on General Elections has now been given a more in depth academic study in Parliamentary Affairs magazine. Tory blogger Iain Dale has referenced the new article with the gloss that AV would reward the Lib Dems with almost permanent king-maker status. This certainly seems to be the conclusion of the research done using the 2010 election data by the article's authors. However, voters are nothing if not unpredictable, and as the German experience shows, king-making parties too can suffer the wrath of the voters, who may choose to reject them completely. AV is a flawed system certainly, and it is a poor PR alternative to offer the voters in the proposed referendum, but Mr. Dale's concerns may be a bit presumptuous even so. The full article is here (requires pdf to read), and while it is a thorough study of the various ways AV would have affected the 2010 election, it does admittedly require a bit of fortitude to get through all of the statistical peregrinations.

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

GILES!

Your meant to be a politics teacher, how on earth can you with any sense use this phrase, "The use of the Alternative Vote delivered the Labour Party a leader who was not their first choice. They're stuck with Ed Miliband now"

The whole point of AV is to end up with the person who more people favour winning. More people wanted Ed to be leader than David, and therefore Ed won. FPTP cannot deliver this result, but AV can. Leading to more people happy with the result than not happy.

Tut. Tut.

Ben Ross

consultant said...

He's right you know Giles; AV delivers the candidate a greater proportion of the electorate favoured. Which is one very good reason not to adopt it.

GM said...

Was it Winston Churchill who said that AV was the most worthless voting system, and delivered the most worthless candidate?

Anonymous said...

Im not saying I like AV. I in fact think any discussion about AV is worthless and a waste of time and money because I feel its irrelevant. Our system needs greater reform than AV.

But you cannot say that Labour got a candidate they didnt want. They in fact stopped themselves getting a candidate they didnt want. Every single person voting knew that it would come down to ed and david, all other votes cast were useless.