Friday, 11 March 2011

Newark MP says 'No to AV'

LOCAL MP for Newark, Patrick Mercer has hit out at the prospect of a
new alternative voting system in Britain which he says will destroy the
Conservative party. 

The former army officer claims the mood amongst tory back benchers 
in Westminster is already very fragile following the coalition and he
believes the national referendum on AV, which will be held on the 5th
May has only heightened this tension.
He said: “The Alternative Vote system would be a dagger to the heart 
of the Conservative Party. If it got through we may never hold outright
power again.” 

Both Labour and Liberal Democrat ministers have pledged support for
the new system. The Lib Dems will push strongly for a “yes’’ to AV
at the referendum in May which they were promised by Gordon Brown
in the coalition agreements.

Mr Mercer, who regained his seat at the last election with a majority of
over 16,000 is urging his voters to say no to AV. Like many
Conservatives and David Cameron himself he sees the current First
Past The Post system as a tried a tested system which provides stable

The new AV system would give voters the chance to rank candidates in
order of preference meaning parties can gain more votes. It would
offer rounds of voting which will ensure no candidate can be elected
initially unless they have more than 50% of the vote. In the current
system hopefuls with the most votes win. However it would also mean
that second or even third preference votes could become influential.

Mr Mercer has been a member of parliament for the Newark 
constituency since 2001 and is very experienced within parliament.
He has previously held front bench positions as Shadow Defence
Secretary and Homeland Security Shadow Minister. After turning a
Labour held majority of 3,000 to a Conservative majority of 4,000
which has gradually rose, son of a Anglican Bishop, Mr Mercer has
worked to rejuvenate industry and service sectors within Newark.

Whether or not the Alternative Vote system is a fairer system than the
current First Past The Post one will of course be the choice of the great
British public.

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