Miliband Alternative; LETTERS

Daily Mail (London), March 8, 2011 | Go to article overview

Miliband Alternative; LETTERS


IT SHOULDN'T be forgotten that it was the Alternative Vote system that eventually, at its fourth stage, edged Ed Miliband in front of his brother David in the contest for the Labour leadership last autumn.

This victory prompted two questions that have relevance beyond the confines of the Labour Party.

Is it fair that supporters of the least popular candidates at the first stage (in this case, Diane Abbott, Andy Burnham and Ed Balls, who had a combined vote of 27.9 per cent of the total) were enabled by the redistribution of their votes according to numbered preference to intervene in each of the stages that followed their elimination, one by one? This discriminated against the supporters of the eventual runner-up (in this case, David Miliband, who led the field at stage one with 37.8 per cent of the total vote), who were able to intervene only once, with their first preference votes.

And is there not some sleight of hand in a system that tricks voters into accepting equal weighting of votes, irrespective of numbered preference? …

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