On the 5th May, there will be a vote. A pretty important vote. Indeed, a vote that could change the way this country is run. The vote is for a referendum on how we vote MPs into the House of Commons.
Currently, we use a first past the post system where the candidate with the highest number of votes wins – even if its just by one vote!
The main reason for the first past the post system is the fact that it generally means the constituency will have strong links with its MP, as one party will usually get a majority. However, this system also means that a party can win an election even if they get a minority of votes, as seats in the commons are based on constituencies rather than the total number of votes.
This is the Referendum broadcast in support of the First Past the Post system, No For AV.
The Alternative Vote is being billed as a fairer vote – where a candidate needs to secure 50% of the votes in order to win an election. Each voter gets to rank candidates in order of preference, then, if no candidate gets 50%, then the second and third choices are taken into consideration. The votes for the least popular candidate are removed from the election. Then, the second choice votes of the people who voted for the lowest placed candidates are taken into account.
This process is repeated until one party has 50% of the vote.
The voters don’t have to rank all candidates, only those that they support.
This will mean that candidates will have to work harder to get the votes as they’ll have to work harder to get to that all important 50%. Although the criticisms are that it could mean the second choice votes could swing the votes, meaning that those who got the majority of the first round of votes won’t necessarily win.
This is the Referendum broadcast in support of the Alternative Vote, Yes For AV.
Personally, I will be voting Yes for AV – it’ll make our votes stronger, and more important – democracy is based on freedom of speech, and this is our chance to make our voices louder.