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2010-12-14 - 13:33:00 - by AlisonW - Topic: UK-Politics: Elections |

I am currently watching recorded coverage of the debate yesterday in the House of Lords regarding the Parliamentary voting system and constituencies bill. Apart from their contributions having changed my mind entirely on the matter of the date for the referendum being concurrent with regional and local elections – I now firmly believe they should not be – there is one matter which continually annoys me; a matter of false advertising.

That is the description of the present electoral system as " First Past the Post".

There is no "post" involved in the current counting of the ballot. The winner is the candidate who has the highest number of ballots in their favour. It isn't that they have a "majority" of the votes; a moment's inspection of the results from any year show clearly that it is a rare candidate who receives over 50% of the ballots in the constituency.

But there is a "Post" in this discussion; the alternative vote – indeed many other methods of determining the result of a ballot – has one. The count commences with a calculation of the number of ballots in their favour which a candidate requires in order to win, in effect what the "winning post" is.

If only one could take such matters to the Advertising Complaints commission …



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