Voting systems matter when it comes to betting
Earlier on this week Priti Patel made the astonishing announcement that the 2011 AV referendum result wasn’t just a rejection of AV but all transferable voting systems which is quite the radical interpretation of the referendum result given there are other transferable voting systems apart from AV which were not on the 2011 referendum ballot paper.
If Patel and the Tory party wish to be consistent and avoid accusations of hypocrisy then they must also change the nature of Tory party leadership elections. The Tory Party uses the exhaustive ballot (aka quasi-AV) to elect their leaders, so this must surely go?
If it does then if we could have elections with plenty of candidates, under current rules a candidate needs 5% of the Tory parliamentary party to nominate them to stand so we could have 20 candidates, with the top two winning the MPs section with a little over 5% of the vote.
Yes that is a little bit reductio ad absurdum but we could see a very low bar for making the top two, something like 17% wins you the MP section, and a little bit lower than that gets you ballot paper for the members.*
To avoid this some candidates will not stand as their wings of the party choose to have primary elections so they have just person representing that wing of the party lest they split the vote with more than one candidate and an asinine wazzock from the opposite wing wins. Peter Bone as next Tory leader and PM, you read it here first.
Interestingly if there was just one FPTP round in the MPs section since the current Tory leadership rules began then then top two in the first round always made it to the final two with 2001 the only exception, when Michael Portillo finished first in the first round yet didn’t make it to the members. That may have changed the outcome of the 2001 result as Portillo would have been seen to be sounder on EU matters than Ken Clarke which would have given him an advantage over Iain Duncan Smith.
FPTP does lead to some great comedy results, my favourite ever FPTP result was Inverness, Nairn, and Lochaber in 1992, we might see similar results in future in Tory leadership contests.
Others have noted that the there has been no announcement about changing the London assembly voting system from the additional member voting system using the D’Hondt method to a first past the post election as that would favour Labour.
I’m sure we are all astonished by this. Tammany Hall would applaud such chutzpah.
Note these planned changes will not impact this year’s round of elections.
*(I’m assuming that Tory members will get to choose from a final two.)