The leader of
the House of Commons has given his personal backing to reform of the
said on Sunday that he would be pushing for an alternative vote system to elect
voters rank candidates according to preference, introducing a more proportional
result, while retaining the link between MPs and their constituencies.
the candidate with the most first preference votes automatically winning, often
with minority support, the least popular are eliminated with their second and
third preferences redistributed until a winner with more than 50 per cent
Hain said the
government is committed to a review of
voting and that this would be the option he would be backing through Labour's
"big conversation" consultation.
a supporter of proportional representation but we are committed to a review of
the electoral system to see if we can make it fairer and better," he told
is no appetite [in the Labour Party] for proportional representation in the
sense that you would get rid of the system by which you elect your member of
favour the alternative vote in which you continue to have your own MP in your
own constituency but instead of just marking an X and the person who comes top
wins, you vote 1, 2, 3 so that the bottom candidates are eliminated and the
second and third preferences transfer up and then you get at least an MP who has
to command over half the votes of their electorate to win.
that is my own personal view; I will argue that and have done within the ‘big
electoral reform was not an issue that was coming up often at "big
But the Welsh
secretary added that the government would honour its commitment to a
review, taking into account the operation of proportional systems in the
Scottish parliament and Welsh assembly.
will put their point of view in, but I think most people think, as we have
repeatedly said in our manifesto in 1997 and 2001, that we ought to look and
review how the electoral systems are working in
," he said.
are different from the House of Commons, they aren’t first past the post in
every respect and whether there are any lessons there.
that there are lots of anomalies in
in particular with how the electoral system is working – we wouldn’t want
to repeat that.
this is a debate that needs to continue."