Friday, May 06, 2011

Thoughts on the AV Referendum

The Count at Trinity School

When the result of the referendum was declared, the only people who cheered were the count staff!


At present, the UK uses the first past the post system to to elect MPs to the House of Commons. Should the Alternative Vote System be used instead?”

YES---- 28,789 ----(33%)

NO ---- 58,475 ----(67%)

Turnout 36%

Considering our neighbouring borough, Sutton - with its Liberal Democrat MPs and Lib Dem controlled council - had an almost identical result with a 39% turnout, we in the 'Yes' campaign ought to give ourselves some credit for a 2-1 defeat. Ours was a scratch team, unlike our Sutton counterparts who had the Lib Dem electoral machine in situ. Equally, the Croydon electorate should be credited given that, apart from two Labour councillors (Watson and Fitzsimmons) and Malcolm Wicks MP, elected politicians in our twin kingdom borough were against AV.

Croydon Loony (John Cartwright) has posted an excellent piece on his web site about the referendum. At the count John kept a record of the imaginative (and some not so imaginative) comments on the doubtful ballot papers which needed adjudication. Most had a comment relating to proportional representation not being offered, although the most amusing one has to be:

Fuck Nick Clegg, his mum, his dad. Fuck Obama. Love Osama

The table above lists reasons given by BBC Newsnight on why the 'Yes' campaign lost - in order of preference [yawn]. They are all valid, especially the first one. A friend of mine messaged me on Facebook saying:

"i won't be voting, don't know enough or ultimately care enough!"

It doesn't say it all BUT it says enough.

The reason not listed is the one our friendly ballot paper spoiler [he circled YES - woooohooo] referred to: NICK CLEGG.
AV was seen by many as his baby, and many wanted to give him a good kicking. It should be pointed out, with particular reference to number 3, that in Croydon the right was not left out. Our joint letter was also signed by the local UKIP chairman.

Source: Betfair

The graph above shows how and when the odds on a 'Yes' win noticeably lengthened. The electorate only started to give a "flying fptp" about the referendum about a month ago, roughly about the time the 'No' campaign began their appalling advertising campaign. Thus, those non tribal voters, who were now starting to give a "flying fptp", had begun to formulate an opinion around 'No'. Once a voter settles on an opinion, its always difficult to change their view.

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