Ok, very short one.
After speaking to many people on various networking sites about AV, the same argument keeps coming up again and again.
"This MP only got 40% of the vote and still won, that means that 60% voted against him, under AV people cannot steal elections".
This is pretty much the range of arguments, in the same family, that i have encountered.
I am in no way saying this is the official line of 'Yes to Fairer Votes' or even that it is used by anyone but their most 'dragging of knuckles' supporters, but it is there.
So let's discuss a few of the points.
The MP got elected with 40% of the vote...that is pretty high, from an election where perhaps 6-8 people ran, to get 40% of all votes is pretty good. Then factor in the tactical vote working against them which seems to fluctuate depending on what is most useful for the critics of my points. I however will use the same percentage I always have 9%. So even if the MP won by 1 vote, he didn't really win by 1 vote.
Pushers of this point also seem to forget that no matter what trash they throw at the MP for winning on 40%, the runner up is only going to come off worse as they didn't even manage to get that. So who exactly have they stole the election from?
Now, to get on to the title of the blog piece.
I am starting to get the impression that proponents of AV are expecting that if and when AV is introduced, a whole new wave of MPs will rise out of the ground or pop through a worm hole and will be able to please 50%+1 of everyone.
What they seem to forget is one (a lot of the MPs on close to 50% will be elected again), the 40% person is most likely to be re-elected, but this time with 50%+.
Is this a magic trick?? Or has he just announced free unicorns to every voter in a Nick Cleggish way?
No, he is just as popular as ever but the 'looks better on paper' system of AV makes it LOOK like he got more support. Please bare that in mind next time you talk about AV increasing the popularity of the elected MP.
5 is 5% of 100, and 50% of 10. You can change percentages quite easily by condensing the available pool.