New Clause 88 — Referendum on voting systems

Part of Bill Presented — Climate Change (Sectoral Targets) Bill – in the House of Commons at 7:00 pm on 9th February 2010.

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Photo of David Howarth David Howarth Shadow Secretary of State for Justice 7:00 pm, 9th February 2010

I am trying to remember the start of the intervention. It seems to me that one cannot argue that first past the post balances the disadvantages of disproportionality and the advantages of decisiveness in such a well calibrated way that any movement either way is obviously wrong. That does not make any sense, especially as everyone admits that we cannot tell precisely the degree to which AV would make a difference. We cannot answer that question, because preferential voting is like tactical voting but carried on in a different, more organised way. If tactical voting is unwound and people start to vote for their first preference, they will be voting in a way that they do not now. That is why it is perfectly reasonable to say that we do not know what the effect of the AV system would be.

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