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December 23, 2010


Martin Marprelate- A Man in the Street!

Short, sharp, concise and to the point. A good advert and thankfully lacking gimmicks, silly slogans or puffed up celebs. As a supporter of Yes to AV I am very pleased with this advert and will be happy to campaign in the Spring of 2011 for a Yes to the Alternative Vote to replace First Past the Post in our Parliamentary Elections.

ViZ BiZ  Conservative anti-AV

Give us your Money....L.O.L.

At best this could be described as no frills, but 17 full time campaigners thats an awful lot of small change. I cannot belive that the yes campeign is really ahead, but as they said they know who their supporters are....so give them your money suckers.

Martin Marprelate- A Man in the Street!

In reply to Viz Biz I will be only too pleased to send them a donation.

Now perhaps you or someone else can answer this question for me? There are some Conservatives who are in favour of AV. Will they be permitted to follow their conscience on this matter and join the Yes to AV Campaign and work for this end or will they be whipped by the Conservative Party to only work for the No Campaign or stay out of the field on this issue?

Elaine Turner

We are 12% ahead in the polls? Is this like the Liberals 'winning here' posters, when they come third? In response to Banquo's Ghost, this is a free vote thing, you can campaign how you want. However, most of the Conservative activists will be campaigning hard against the AV vote and I suspect that a fair amount of the Labour activists will be campaigning for a No vote as well.

This is a scheme dreamed up by the Liberals when they expected to benefit from it. At the moment, with 9 - 11% in the polls, I wonder if they are so keen now?

It doesn't suit either the Labour or Conservative parties to share power with the third party. Manifesto promises get swallowed up in compromise... why would you want to support the Yes campaign, unless you think UKIP could benefit from it or BNP or a host of other tiny minority parties?

John Bracewell

Anything that makes coalition government more likely and AV will, is a non-starter, look at the mess this week in this coalition. Look at the horse trading behind closed doors when negotiating an agreement which gives none of the Conservative, LibDem or Labour supporters a government with policies they want.
NO2AV is the only vote.

Martin Marprelate- A Man in the Street!

UKIP should indeed gain from AV. I for example at the next General Election if AV comes in as I feel is likely, will use my vote thus. First Preference UKIP, Second Preference Conservative, which as I happen to like the Tory MP in the Constituency where I live is no problem for me. Were they someone I have no time for such as Theresa May in Maidenhead, or Nick Boles in Grantham, I would only use my First Preference for UKIP. Conversely if I lived in Oldham East and Saddleworth where it would appear the Tory Leadership is trying to engineer a Lib-Dem gain from Labour at the by-election at the expense of their own Conservative Candidate, I would vote under AV as follows, First Preference UKIP, Second Preference Conservative, Third Preference Labour, the last vote being that I would far rather Labour held this seat, as I feel they will do anyway, than the Lib-Dem won it as that to me would be the least desirable outcome give my detestation for the Lib-Dems and all they stand for. Although a Third Preference Vote in many seats will be irrelevant, in a three way marginal such as "Old and Sad" or as another example Watford, these could be of significance.

Originally I was against any change to the voting system but after the last General Election when a move for some from of PR came to the fore I felt that AV was far preferable to STV, List Systems etc and infinitely preferable to de Hondt as used in the Euro Elections and re-empowers the voter especially in "Safe Seats". Bring it on!

Mark W

As long as I have breath in my body I will campaign against this change. How anyone can be in favour of constant Coalition governments that gives pompus people like Vince Cable a position of power God only knows. Where is the democracy the majority of us want an end to the Human rights Act and mass immigration, but cause we have to kowtow to a party like Vince's with just 10% of the vote we cant have it. IF THAT'S DEMOCRACY YOU CAN KEEP IT!


Elaine, there's been several polls on the AV referendum, with varying results. The simpler worded questions have produced 12% and 6% leads for Yes, YouGov with much longer and more detailed questions and prompting has put up results of Even and FPTP +6 (although the most recent polls could well have come out after they made this video). It's all bit murky about the wording currently, the pollsters haven't really got their eye in. So take with lots of salt all polls really.

Electoral reform has long been a red line issue for Lib Dems (and I am one), Clegg couldn't go into a coalition without something on it. What he got was a compromise system that will change far less than is being shouted about.

It's long been frustrating to be a Lib Dem and get say over 20% of the votes and less than 10% of the MPs. It's been a little amusing to hear so many Tories cry foul over an electoral system supposedly rigged against them when they get 36% of the vote and 47% of the seats. How unfair that was for them. Unfortunately it hasn't seemed to have brought any empathy from them.

Of course neither the Tories or Labour have any interest in altering a system that locks them in to alternating power.

I'm backing AV because it gives the voter more choice and more power. It enables them to vote for say a UKIP, or an independent Tory and then the official Tory without worrying about the possibility of splitting the vote and having a Labour candidate win. If you want to see more independent MPs, and less power to party HQs centrally approving A-list candidates and parachuting in their preferred candidates over the heads of local association, well this is it.

In short I back it because it allows voters to use their vote more honestly and more effectively.

A lot of rubbish is put about on AV, not least on ConHome (where more than once posters have begun their opposition talking about proportional representation, which AV is definitively not a type of). Whether it will create more coalitions or not (the models are largely guesswork, and equally convincing ones have it creating stronger majorities as the public swings more against the second party as claim is produces more coalitions). The answer that political scientists and talking heads hate giving is that we're really not sure how it will affect election results.

The only thing we can be sure is that those results will be a truer reflection of who each voter prefers to represent them.

Martin Marprelate- A Man in the Street!

Thanks OneMarcus I WILL keep Democracy. Sure as hell one will not get what you want such as a repeal of the Human Rights Act or Mass Immigration from Cameron's Blue Labour Party. If you think that you can achieve that within that organisation you are sadly deluded my friend as to them you are only of use as a Canvasser, Leafleter, Teller at a Polling Station and of course to stick your hand in your pocket to pay subs and tickets for all those Fund Raising Social events. Otherwise the Cameron Clique treats you with utter contempt. On all the issues that I sense you feel strongly about Cameron and his Clones take an 180 degree opposite stance to you. I will use the breath in my body to campaign FOR this change.

For Elaine Turner, thanks. I have just signed up for and dictated to the Yes for Fairer Votes Campaign. Once the Festive Season is over "Cry Havoc and let slip the dogs of war!"


Reading comments on here you would think we won a huge majority of the votes. We got 36%. How is it a democracy where a party with 36% of the votes would be able to run things?

Martin Marprelate- A Man in the Street!

Re my typo @ 12:23. It should of course read DONATED to the Yes to Fairer Votes Campaign. I an NOT in a position to dictate to anything or anybody.


Whilst not perfect, I do believe AV is right. The 'No' campaign hasn't come up with any reasonable argument except assertion of opinion.

But this talk of "fairer votes" and others who seem to be behind it are really putting me off. Phonebank?! If I get a call from them and especially if they then go on about it being unfair then I'm putting 'No'

It doesn't add up...

Seats do not equate to power. Being in government gives power. Being able to bring down the government can give power. That requires no more than holding the balance of power.

Martin Keegan

A little worried here: he implies that the form of "AV" proposed (Queensland OPV, not Australian AV) requires that MPs get 50% of the vote, which isn't true.

Elaine Turner

Corporeal, many thanks for your lengthy and considered response. I understand your position - I just don't agree with it! I am a life long Conservative and I am not in the business of supporting anything which might interfere with us gaining a good majority. I would have more confidence in AV if second, third and fourth preferences were weighted accordingly - so it takes five fifth preference votes to equate to one first preference. I might be convinced then.

Anyway, Happy Christmas, and heads down for a fairly grim 2011 - which will have been caused not by the Coalition, but by the lot who were in before blowing the budget!

Steve Cooper

Elaine this is where the NO campaign looses me. Instictively my heart would be for a version of PR, and one that puts as much power into the hands of the electorate as possible, out of the various options probably STV.

But my mind is generally open to the arguments between AV and FptP as neither is a version of PR and AV can exagerate majorities even more than FptP when there is a general mood swing in the electorate (such as 1997).

But every time I see an AV/FptP discussion, where as the YES supporters seem to argue from a none party political stand-point (with talk of getting an elected candidate more in tune with the electorate and allow them to send a message and put their 1st vote for against an issues party such as the Green, UKIP, etc.) the No supporters invariable reason for voting NO is that is might hurt their prefered political party getting a majority.

A) This just does match the evidence and hung parliaments are no more likely under AV and FptP if the electorate are not split, Australia being an example of this, which in its history under AV has had no more hung parliaments than Westminster.

B) I'm just turned off by the party alliegance argument, I'd rather have a political system that put the voter first and not the party.

Elaine Turner

To Steve Cooper - my objection is as posted - I am very much a party girl! I think the country is vastly better when we know what we are getting - each party sets out their stand and the one with most seats get to enact their manifesto. I have no idea whether AV will result in better or worse results for us, but I think I would prefer a Labour Govt to a situation where everyone has to pander to the minority, minority parties. Can't make up the numbers? Join with the Socialist Workers Party or the BNP...... what a choice! They are minority parties for a good reason.

Denis Cooper

When I vote for changing to AV I won't only be voting for a slightly fairer system, but also one which gives the elector much greater freedom to express his true views.

Under the present system of FPTP where the elector is restricted to signifying support for a single candidate, party oligarchs are able to channel electors into voting for A because B would be worse and a vote for C would supposedly be a "wasted" vote.

Under AV many millions of such electors will at last have the freedom to say "I really want C, but failing C I suppose that I'd rather have A than B".

It speaks volumes that the leaders of the Tory party, which claims to be the party of freedom, are opposed to giving voters this greater freedom.


Just think. The end of FPTP means no more of those stupid Liberal Democrat leaflets: "Labour/Conservative can't win here". "Only the Lib Dems can defeat the Tories/Labour/whatever" complete with dodgy bar graph.


I vote Conservative and have no interest in voting for a first, second, third or fourth choice candidate whether it is mandatory or not.
With AV it is even more likely that a party that comes third or fourth like the Liberal Democrats will decide who governs Britain,
The man in the video is the crank that accosted David Cameron during the GE and wanted his special needs child to go to a mainstream school rather than getting a specialised education at a specialist school.
This person wanted his child to be in the mainstream school regardless of the difficulty of teaching mixed ability children in class.
If he wants AV then I would advise say NO2AV.

Martin Marprelate- A Man in the Street!

Likewise Robert , if you are against it, you have made me even more resolutely FOR IT!


I am a Conservative voter and am not attracted to AV at all. The gentleman in the video could not persuade me since he was not willing to consider what was best for his special needs child.....some parents of special needs children that I know would have jumped at the chance for a specialised education at a special school.....preferring a mainstream education (with all the concomitant difficulty of teaching mixed ability children) above a specialised education is certainly his prerogative, however a little difficult to understand. The process for AV is highly questionable - smaller parties' votes will decide the governing of Britain.....no thanks.

Mark W

Banquo's Ghost - Right, Anti-Coalition lovely Kipper what type is it? Anyway I am delivering leaflets etc becuase I want to stand myself as a Cllr not because of the Cameron Clique as you call them. As I said no enough is being doen about mass immigration and we are not throwing out the Human Rights Act because we are kow towing to the Lib Dems in a coalition. And likewise Lib Dem voters are not getting many things they wanted. This is clearly not at all democratic, strangley no one on the Yes Side has been able to say it is democratic or argued that it is. For this reason I would urge voters of all parties to vote NO to AV.

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