As the Conservative Councillor for Sale Moor, Nigel Hooley, is actually a Gorse Hill resident, I ought to pay attention to what he says. He’s my constituent after all. Nigel is not stupid, so he can do a lot better than the arguments he’s presenting on his Sale Moor website.
Nigel argues that under the Alternative Vote system, a person can ‘finish’ third and still win the seat.
One of the good things about the Alternative Vote, is that nobody can win until most of the voters want them to win. Nigel’s system allows a candidate to win who most voters don’t want. That candidate could be a BNP thug for whom all but a tiny minority would have preferred anybody but the BNP. This is because it allows a candidate to win on less than a third of the vote.
Under AV if no one has more than half the votes, the race is simply not ‘finished’. The person in last place drops out and we recount the votes based on who’s left in the race.
The alternative vote system simply asks the electorate “Which is the candidate that most of you prefer to be your MP?”
There are positives and negatives about how we get to resolve that question, but to argue that the winner is somehow cheated out of victory by the person in third place is a nonsense.