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LABOUR AND CONSERVATIVE MPS FROM 2010 INTAKE UNITE IN SUPPORT OF CROSSPARTY NOtoAV CAMPAIGN

LABOUR AND CONSERVATIVE MPS FROM 2010 INTAKE UNITE IN SUPPORT OF CROSSPARTY NOtoAV CAMPAIGN

20 new MPs give 10 good reasons to vote NO to AV

20 of the new generation of MPs – including leading thinkers from both Parties such as Nick Boles, Tristram Hunt, Toby Perkins and Zac Goldsmith – have today signed the following statement in support of NO to AV, the nationwide, cross-party campaign against the Alternative Vote next May.

The signed document states “When we were campaigning during the last election we talked to thousands of voters. Their concerns were many and varied: the economy, jobs, immigration, housing, crime. There were several areas where our constituents identified a need for change. But if we are being truthful, changing our voting system was not one of them.

Our country faces significant challenges. We have our differences on how they should be tackled, but those challenges will not be overcome by dismantling our voting system and replacing it with a complex alternative that nobody wants.

We are all agreed on the need to rebuild trust between the public and the politicians who represent them. Their priorities must be our priorities. Scrapping our voting system is not their priority. Nor is it ours. That’s why we will be voting NO on 5 May.”

 

Signed:

Stuart Andrew Member of Parliament for Pudsey (Conservative)

Guto Bebb Member of Parliament for Aberconwy (Conservative)

Jake Berry Member of Parliament for Rossendale and Darwen (Conservative)

Nick Boles Member of Parliament for Grantham and Stamford (Conservative)

Thomas Docherty Member of Parliament for Dunfermline & West Fife (Labour)

Julie Elliott Member of Parliament for Sunderland Central (Labour)

George Eustice Member of Parliament for Camborne and Redruth (Conservative)

Yvonne Fovargue Member of Parliament for Makerfield (Labour)

Zac Goldsmith Member of Parliament for Richmond Park & North Kingston (Conservative)

Julie Hilling Member of Parliament for Bolton West (Labour)

Tristram Hunt Member of Parliament for Stoke-on-Trent Central (Labour)

Kwasi Kwarteng Member of Parliament for Spelthorne (Conservative)

Karen Lumley Member of Parliament for Redditch County (Conservative)

Michael McCann Member of Parliament for East Kilbride, Strathaven & Lesmahagow (Labour)

Priti Patel Member of Parliament for Witham (Conservative)

Toby Perkins Member of Parliament for Chesterfield (Labour)

Dominic Raab Member of Parliament for Esher and Walton (Conservative)

Gavin Shuker Member of Parliament for Luton South (Labour)

Karl Turner Member of Parliament for Kingston upon Hull East (Labour)

Chris Williamson Member of Parliament for Derby North (Labour)

 

Rt Hon Margaret Beckett MP, President of NO to AV, said:

“The NO to AV ‘20-10 statement’ is a call from twenty of the new generation of MPs elected in May to consider the arguments against a change to the Alternative Vote in the referendum next year, rather than the spin about how the campaigns are being portrayed.

“The Yes to AV campaign claim to be speaking for the British public – but are in fact driven by narrow political considerations and their own self-interest. As these newly-elected MPs have said, AV is not the way to rebuild trust between the public and the politicians who represent them.

“Next year the British people will have to make a decision on whether they want the country to start using a voting system which nobody really wants, which is complicated and unfair, and which is massively expensive to administer – or to stick with the current tried and tested system that delivers clear, effective and decisive results.

“This is the real choice facing voters next May.”

 

T EN REASONS TO VOTE NO NEXT MAY

1. AV IS OBSCURE: Only three countries in the world use AV for their national

elections: Fiji, Australia, and Papua New Guinea.

2. AV IS UNFAIR: Supporters of fringe parties can end up having their vote counted

five or six times – and potentially decide the outcome of the election – while people

who backed the mainstream candidates only get one vote.

3. AV IS UNEQUAL: AV treats someone’s fifth or sixth choice as having the same

importance as someone’s else’s first preference – but there is a big difference

between positively wanting one candidate to win and being able to ‘put up with’

another.

4. AV IS ‘EVEN LESS PROPORTIONAL’ THAN THE CURRENT SYSTEM: So

concluded the independent Royal Commission chaired by the senior Liberal

Democrat Roy Jenkins in 1998

5. AV IS ‘DISTURBINGLY UNPREDICTABLE’ – another warning from Roy Jenkins.

Elections fought under AV would either wildly increase the majority of the winning

party (e.g. Labour in 1997, the Tories in the 1980s) or create hung parliaments by

giving the balance of power to the third party.

6. AV IS NOT WANTED – EVEN BY THE YES CAMPAIGN: Before the general

election, Nick Clegg described AV as “a miserable little compromise” and the

Electoral Reform Society said they did “not regard it as suitable for the election of a

representative body, e.g. a parliament”.

7. AV IS NO-ONE’S FIRST CHOICE: AV was not in the manifestos of either the

Conservative Party or the Liberal Democrats. Many people who want voting reform

have spent years campaigning for proportional representation – which AV is not.

8. AV IS COMPLEX: The Government will have to spend millions of pounds explaining

to voters how AV works to prevent a fall in turnout at elections. In Australia, the only

reason they have high turnout is because they made voting compulsory.

9. AV IS EXPENSIVE: Under AV we won’t be able to count ballot papers by hand on

election night if we want a quick, decisive election result. Local councils will have to

purchase electronic counting machines that are very expensive and prone to

malfunction.

10.AV IS NOT THE REFORM WE NEED: There are lots of genuine reforms which

would go some way to restoring people’s trust in politics – but changing our voting

system to AV is not one of them. That’s why it’s a shame that we’re about to spend

£90 million and five months debating a system that nobody really wants.

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