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Democracy, Elections, Unit 1

SV and AMS

This is an interesting piece about the mechanics and pros and cons of the electoral systems used in London.

On the day of the London Elections Dave Hill discusses his thoughts on the process


Dave Hill is contemplating Green- despite the fact that he knows that Jenny Jones is not going to be mayor. However as he correctly identifies a Green vote for mayor (or indeed a vote of any of the ‘quintet of also rans’ will not be a wasted vote (First reason why SV is better than FPTP).

As he suggests voters can use their first preference to express a conviction vote for mayor and then affect the outcome of the Boris v Ken battle with their second preference. As neither Boris nor Ken has threatened 50% in the polls (Boris has the highest score 46%)- the election will be decided this way.

Dave Hill intendes to cast his second preference for Livingstone- which ‘will end up being of equal value to him in his head- to- head with Johnson’ As Hill suggests the only way to ‘waste’ your vote with be to give neither your first or second preference to Boris or Ken. (Second reason why SV is better than FPTP).

The ability to ‘split ticket’ vote (a concept popular in America) is eluded to in connection with the AMS ballots for the GLA. The GLA elects 14 members using FPTP and 11 top ups using PR. Dave Hill intends to split his votes between Labour for the FPTP element and Lib Dem for the London wide vote. This choice and ability to tailor your preferences provides another counterpoint to FPTP this time in favour of AMS.

A counter point to this is made somewhat inadvertantly: ‘altogether, we can mark our cross four times on three different ballot papers’ – when considerijng this in terms of easy access- 1 cross, 1 ballot paper FPTP style does appear to have some benefits.








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