Matthew Elliott: Make sure you vote NO today
Matthew Elliott is Campaign Director of No2AV.
Today is the UK’s first nation-wide referendum in 36 years, and it’s critical that people go out and vote to protect decades of democratic progress.
Recent polls have been promising but pre-election predictions are meaningless if people do not make the effort to get to the ballot box.
Only a No vote today can protect Britain’s democracy, keeping our One Person, One Vote system.
The Alternative Vote would create a situation where some people get multiple votes counted while others get only their first preference counted.
Perversely, supporters of the least popular parties will be the most likely to get a second vote counted, while Labour and Conservative votes could only have one vote counted in nine out of ten seats.
This would give extremists disproportionate influence, as their second preferences would determine the outcome of tight races.
And, of course, AV would give the Liberal Democrats an enormous boost. They would gain over a dozen of seats every election, leading to more hung parliaments where Nick Clegg gets to decide who forms the government.
No wonder Liberal Democrats have been so hysterical at the thought of a No vote. We shouldn't spend £250 million at a time of serious economic challenges just because it will benefit Chris Huhne.
We know that most people in the UK agree that AV would be a step backwards, but there is no turnout threshold on this referendum.
If people stay home and rely on others to carry the day, a Yes vote could sneak in amidst low turnout -- not to mention potentially differential turnout between UK regions.
It is critical that we avoid sleepwalking into the AV system, and that's why we will be doing everything we can today to ensure that people get out a vote No.