Voters say no to Alternative Vote system

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VOTERS around the area have followed the national trend and roundly rejected the Alternative Vote system in a referendum.

Across the region more than 72 per cent of people voted to keep the First Past The Post method of electing MPs, compared to 28 per cent who wanted a change, in a decisive victory for the No to AV campaign.

Not a single district in The News’ patch voted in favour of the change, which would have asked people to rank candidates in order of preference, rather than just put a cross by their first choice.

Members of the Conservative party, which opposed AV, said this was ‘a good day for common sense’ while their Lib Dem coalition partners blamed the result on ‘untruths’ spread by the No campaign.

Speaking after the result was announced, No to AV campaign organiser for Portsmouth and former Conservative parliamentary candidate Flick Drummond said: ‘I’m delighted with the result, both in Portsmouth and across the country.

‘The AV system is just so horribly complicated, voters showed sense in sticking with the proven and straightforward method for chosing MPs we have now.

‘First Past the Post has been tried and tested and the other side just lost the argument.’

Nationally the turnout was 41.8 per cent – higher than expected – and the No campaign won a resounding victory with 69 per cent of the vote.

Across The News’ region 43 percent of people turned out to vote.

Portsmouth Yes campaigner Will Purvis said the defeat was disappointing, but would not stop supporters of electoral reform fighting for their cause.

‘I think this still shows there is an appetite for change,’ he said. ‘It’s unfortunate that the campaign was overshadowed by the untruths put out by the other side.

‘But we will not give up on our fight to make sure politicians work harder for their constituents.’