Alternative Vote?

Argument for says Katie Ghose

This is our one chance to make politicians work harder for us. We may never get another.
The expenses scandal showed how deeply out of touch some of our MPs have become from us - the people who elect them.  This scandal had its roots in a culture where MPs could enjoy jobs for...

Read the rest of Katie's opinion

Argument against says Jane Kennedy

In May you will be asked whether you want to keep the current voting system for the Westminster Parliament, often called first-past-the-post (FPTP), or switch to the Alternative Vote (AV). The referendum will shape the future of democracy in Britain. The question that should be asked...

Read the rest of Jane's opinion

Poll results

Question one

Do you think there is a need to reform the voting system?

Question two

Do you fully understand the Alternative Voting system?


Should there be a minimum turn out rate in the Alternative Vote referendum, to make it valid?

Comments (21)

  1. monosodium

    Thegov - Should we be leaders or followers?

    It's good enough for our biggest political parties to elect their leaders, and many other elections (like london mayor) why not the rest of us?

  2. Nihilarity

    The idea of a minimum turnout is a cynical ploy to justify ignoring the will of the people. It makes an absolute mockery of democracy to demand higher standards for a referendum than for an election.

  3. spiraldrain

    Most No supporters don't even want AV. They should be campaigning for their MPs to come up with what they DO want, not be voting for a ridiculous system they don't want.

  4. penglish

    Didn't realise there was such a small character limit. See

  5. penglish

    My problem is that I while I think that FPTP is about as bad a system as you can get, I think AV is only marginally better. At least it means you can vote tactically, to most effectively ensure the party you least want to get in. But I also know that AV i

  6. jwmet

    interesting debates but how many people are acutally participating in this poll? I can see the numbers and therefore i cannot understand accuracy - I haven't ever voted on the pols but it says 'results, all members polled' any ideas?

  7. Nihilarity

    I think it's important everyone understands that most of us who are arguing in favour of AV would prefer other voting systems, but see this referendum as getting our foot in the door towards that end. This isn't such a strong argument against as the No

  8. CN

    1.Electoral Law - NOT 'fit for purpose'.
    2.Electoral Registers - NOT 'fit for purpose'.
    3.CERO powers - NOT 'fit for purpose

  9. trinityboy

    I didn't know the Anti-AV campaign had bought up "" which is shocking but completely in keeping with their unaccountable funding and unpleasant tactics so far.

    Love the anti-AV Boris Telegraph article - 90% of comments pro-AV!

  10. scottme

    I would like to hear just one positive argument in favour of the current FPTP system, instead of the baseless negativity that probably simply reflects the fact that those oppesed to AV are scared witless that they will lose power and influence.

  11. simongazeley

    I prefer AV to FPTP, but I prefer STV to both. I shall vote YES so that MPs are elected with the support of as large a proportion as possible of the voters and also so that supporters of minority parties can vote with their consciences.

  12. xhall

    I am a British citizen living in Germany. Your registration questions do not cater for this possibility. I have been living in Germany for the past 25 years and did not register to vote within this time because I considered the voting system to be unfair

  13. 1stlaw

    The video link is:

  14. 1stlaw

    AV does not require voting machines (expensive or otherwise) and machines are not used in Ireland, Australia, Northern Ireland or Scotland. Here's a BBC video of transferable votes being counted by hand in Ireland:

  15. jamieriden

    AV will allow me to vote for the person I want to vote for, instead of worrying which of the main party candidates can defeat the one I like least. The AV ballot paper is going to be considerably easier than your car tax form, tax returns, etc.

  16. jamieriden

    When is the No campaign going to relinquish "" and stop printing adverts with sick babies?

  17. srpalmer

    The current system is massively biased in favour of keeping up vote shares of established old parties, as BrendanUK's point makes clear.
    AV will finally remove the necessity to vote for a large party you don't really support, in order to keep a worse

  18. scaredtodeath

    maybe it should be a legal requirement to vote in the UK. you can spoil your ballot if you wish, but "can't be bothered" will no longer be an acceptable excuse.

  19. BrendanUK

    Knocking on doors at election time, I often found a minority party supporter who felt compelled to vote for a major party to prevent another major party from getting in. Supporters of new or minority parties such as UKIP, Green, even "none of the above"

  20. Thegov

    My concern is that very few countries adopt this system. The Yes campaign look towards Australia, but there it's a legal requirement to vote, so you get a high turnout, unlike the UK. I don't think either side has made a strong case so far

  21. singb

    If this referendum gets less than 50% turnout, then it should be ignored. I think it will be hard to get 50% to turn out and take part, as there seem to be more important issues for familys to deal with

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