Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Political Betting: Would AV Kill the Cameroon Tories?

Political Betting fly an aeronautically suspect kite on the Alternate Vote (AV) System killing the Tory Party. Here's the ever so easy to follow chart:

My view is that their kite is aeronautically suspect for several reasons.

First, people would vote differently, or Apple say Vote Different, under an AV system even if they fully accepted its introduction. Often in fact in the way Apple meant. People may consider this a licence to dabble with a minority 'Different' vote or two before the main event.

This could have unintended consequences where their main preference did not stay the course. For example anyone voting anything other than Hazel Blears 1 in the LP DL selection was too late to help her cause.

Second, people might consider introduction of a new voting system a red rag to a bull, particularly if it were seen to favour the incumbent doing the introducing. Protest voting could ensue.

Third, people would not use all or even more than one of their preferences.

From the point of view of political betters this is important as AV would reduce the risk of a hung parliament. From the point of view of non-Tories this is very interesting as it could precipitate the old/new Tory split.


David Lindsay said...

AV is one of the few things that could still save the Tories. Just look at where the Lib Dem voters are. In the West Country, it would simply never occur to them to vote Labour. In rural Scotland, they see Labour as the party of urban Scotland. In Mid-Wales, they see Labour as the party of North Wales. And here in the North, Lib Dem voters see Labour as the hated local Establishment.

A very few Lib Dems in a very few seats might give second and third prference votes to Greens and Trots or vice versa. But most would just put a 2 next to the Tory and then stop. As a result, the Tories would always be the largest party in a permanently hung Parliament, taken even quite a few of what are currently safe Labour seats.

Chris Paul said...

Do you have any research to back all this wild assertion and educated guess work up?

I suspect the voter iD efforts of the two main parties would tend to support the PB line.

Though I think myself that AV cannot be modelled from FPTP results, even with the benefit of professional voter iD on 2nd choices.

David Lindsay said...

Exactly. Now ask yourself, how may Lib Dems in Manchester are going to put Labour second. The same is true across the North. In the West Country, they have barely even heard of Labour, in the way that people here in County Durham have barely even heard of the Tories. While in rural Scotland and in Mid-Wales, they are somwhere between those two positions. AV would be a godsend to the Tories.

Chris Paul said...

In Manchester at the moment we more or less have a two party system. But a Tory revival could follow if they picked up some LD transfers where they are 2nd to Labour.

I think it is very unpredictable. It could boost turn out for example. It could boost little parties and local parties too.