Saturday, September 30, 2023

Thurrock Lib-Dems “Say Yes” to Alternative Vote

SOUTH BASILDON and East Thurrock constituent and supporter of the Alternative Vote system Luke Tyson has responded to MP Stephen Metcalfe’s criticism of the system.

“Changing to the Alternative Vote (AV) system of electing MPs is a small change that will make a big difference. The expenses scandal has shown us all how deeply out of touch some of our politicians are, and that is why this campaign is about the people and not the politicians.

Under AV, MPs will have to work harder to get and maintain our support, instead of – as some do now – taking us for granted. They’ll have to reach out to the broader community and not just rely on their historic support. You only have to look at those dinosaurs leading the No campaign to see that they want to protect their interests and resist any change for the better.

My MP, Stephen Metcalfe, says that he will not be supporting this change for the better ( and has made frankly absurd claims.

Firstly, he claims that his constituents do not have the capacity to write 1, 2, 3 on a ballot paper instead of an X. This shows an enormous lack of respect for the people he represents in parliament and I find it quite offensive. For an MP to hold his constituents in such low esteem is typical of this broken system.

Another claim is that changing to AV will cost £250 million to set up. The No campaign claim, wrongly, that counting machines will be required to count the votes on election night. This is simply not true and the Electoral Commission has confirmed this. I’ve answered the “expensive voter education campaigns” claim above.

No doubt, over the coming months, the No campaign will continue to come out with ludicrous claims and deeply offensive advertising campaigns. Don’t take their arguments at face value – dig a little deeper and you’ll find them wanting. And at no point will you hear them defending the current system – because it is indefensible.

Only MPs that cannot get the majority of the support from the people they represent have anything to fear from this change, and I’m disappointed that Mr Metcalfe has put himself in the No camp – seemingly afraid to accept this small change that will make a big difference.


  1. What a load of rubbish Mr Tyson spouts! His piece above is yet more political spin and BS and I for one can’t see anybody buying it. For a start, AV is not a small change it is a stonking great big one and quite how a change which will, in theory at least, return more second rate MP’s is good for the people is a mystery. As I have said elsewhere on these pages, I sometimes have trouble mustering the willpower to cast a vote for one candidate (because they are often univerally hopeless and not because there is something better on tv on election night) let alone having a second and third preference. I certainly don’t want my vote transferred to anybody else either, how on Earth is that fair or democratic? Stephen Metcalfe was not casting aspersions on the intellectual ability of the voters he was just commenting on exactly the kind of sentiment I have just expressed. If you are offended by that, Mr Tyson, you clearly have some growing up to do.
    The £250 million cost you claim doesn’t exist seems to be accepted by all three main parties so I am not sure why you are seeking to disclaim it. You are on dodgy ground quoting the electoral commission too. It seems that they are the majority shareholders of a company called Electoral Reform Services Ltd who just happen to be bankrolling the YES vote because they think it will be a very big boost to their business and profits. They seem to think that counting machines will be required and yet you don’t. It’s all a bit dodgy isn’t it?
    So, stop having a dig at Mr Metcalfe, we the voters are not interested. Instead, try making a valid case based on facts, a bit of a novel idea for anyone engaged in politics I know but give it a try anyway.

  2. gray64, a few things.

    Firstly, under AV, you vote will not be transferred to someone else unless you cast it. Under AV, you list the candidates in order of preference, 1, 2, 3 etc. You can list as many or as few as you like. As such, you can simply cast ‘1’ for Mr Metcalfe and leave it there.

    Secondly, the £250 million cost is certainly not accepted by all three main parties. In fact, even HM Treasury refutes the claim:

    Thirdly, of course the electoral reform society is backing the Yes campaign. It’s a campaign for electoral reform, so it would be bizarre if they didn’t. Absolutely nothing to do with profits.

    Lastly, I’d hazard a guess that Mr Metcalfe is a bit worried that, under AV, he would have to win the broad support of 50% of voters, instead of the 43.9% he won last year.

    AV will make politicians work harder for our support, and make them stop taking us for granted.

  3. Or I could cast one vote for the Labour party candidate and leave it there. Why would you assume I vote Conservative? The piece in the Independent happens to quote a letter written by a Lib Dem MP who is in favour of electoral reform so you wouldn’t exactly expect a balanced view on the costs. OK, so the final cost may be up for debate but the issue of counting machines is certainly one that needs to be taken seriously if we are to expect voting results announced on the night of the election instead of a day or two after. I for one believe that counting machines would be inevitable if the voting system is changed. The Electoral Reform Society is a major shareholder of a large and profitable Electoral service provider and it stands to profit quite considerably should the system change. It’s not bizarre that they should stick up for electoral reform but isn’t it wrong that they stand to benefit financially from any change? In my view that makes their whole stance invalid. As for your point about making politicians work harder for our votes, are you serious? I mean, Really? If it means anything at all it means that they will spoon feed us exactly what we want to hear in order to get elected and then dump all their promises as soon as they are. Politicians will always be Politicians. The old saying is as true today as it ever was “No matter who you vote for, the Government always gets in.”


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