AV and Minor Parties

by Brian on April 28, 2011

On Twitter yesterday, “Daniel Davies asked”:http://twitter.com/dsquareddigest/status/63004206600167424,

bq. If AV is so god damned simple, why can nobody explain convincingly to me whether it screws the LibDems or not?

This seems like a fun question to work through at longer than Twitter length, even if it is purely hypothetical, since the No side “is going to win”:http://ukpollingreport.co.uk/blog/archives/3504.

One obvious answer is that as long as the “Liberal Democrats are polling 10%”:http://ukpollingreport.co.uk/blog/archives/3507 the voting system won’t make a lot of difference. Another obvious answer is that if the Lib Dems recover at all, then AV would seem to help them. There will be plenty of seats, such as “Oxford East”:http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/shared/election2010/results/constituency/d47.stm which they lost under FPTP, but would have a very good chance of winning under AV.

But if AV in England[1] plays out in a similar way to how AV played out in Australia, there is a big risk to the Lib Dems. They could lose a huge portion of their vote to the Greens.

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