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Political notes: the alternative vote

Cameron and Clegg promised a referendum on an electoral system neither actually likes. Such a vote is bound to strain their union

By Anne McElvoy   July 2010

Prospect is the type of place where youthful indiscretions are looked on kindly. Here’s one of mine. Twenty-five years ago, I was in favour of the alternative vote (AV). Together with Mark Field, now Conservative MP for the cities of London and Westminster, I wrote a piece for Cherwell, the Oxford University newspaper, suggesting that the system should be used for our student union elections. The idea was also supported by a new member of the student union council, one David Miliband, and the later Liberal Democrat MP for Truro, Matthew Taylor. But the meeting called to debate the proposal…

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