With AV, people will not have to guess the result

Thursday is voting day
Thursday is voting day
Steve's baby daughter made amazing progress this week, or so his wife thought

STEVE CANAVAN: It was a lot of rattle over just a little roll

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Ilost the General Election in Portsmouth South in 1987 and 1992 by 205 and 242 votes respectively.

Then, people not voting Conservative or Lib Dem had a choice.

They could vote for who they really wanted. Or they could influence the actual outcome by voting Lib Dem or Conservative.

With the Alternative Vote (AV), people won’t have to guess what the result is likely to be and can vote say Labour, Green or UKIP in a Conservative/Lib Dem marginal.

If not enough people agree with them, then they will have second preferences to influence the outcome.

The same applies to Conservatives in Labour/Lib Dem marginals or Lib Dems in Conservative/Labour marginals.

All the main parties use AV to choose their leader. MPs use it to elect the Commons Speaker.

Similar preference systems are used in Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland, and to elect the London Mayor.

In fact we are unusual in our current voting system. Virtually every other country in the world uses a preference voting system. And by the way, the No campaign’s assertion that it will cost £250m more is pure rubbish.

You don’t need voting machines to count AV and indeed Australia doesn’t. So the cost is roughly the same.

There will also be council elections on Thursday.

In Portsmouth, Labour are out of the race with only two out of the city’s 42 councillors. And I hope that people won’t let the Conservatives back in. With the Lib Dems, Portsmouth has a lower council tax than all the Tory-run councils in the area.

We have shown it is possible to do things differently and protect services.

We are opening a new library in Southsea, keeping all children’s centres, reintroducing free swimming for young and old and saving weekly bin collections when Tory Havant, Gosport and Fareham have axed them. On Thursday, vote ‘Yes’ in the referendum for a better run country and Lib Dem in council elections for better-run town halls.