Conclusive proof that AV hinders the BNP

The Independent today reports new analysis from the Institute for Public Policy Research - also covered by The Guardian yesterday - showing that AV would hinder the BNP.

The Independent today reports new analysis from the Institute for Public Policy Research – also covered by The Guardian yesterday – showing that AV would hinder the BNP. The research fundamentally rebuts claims made earlier this month by the No to AV Campaign which were promoted by Guido Fawkes.

On April 1st, the right-wing blogger published an article which claimed:

“Research out today from the No to AV campaign suggests that in the region of 35 constituencies could have their outcomes determined by the second preferences of BNP voters. This is the unwelcome empowerment that the AV system brings to democracy.”

The analysis by ippr from a forthcoming report examining the case for AV looks at each of the 35 constituencies in turn. Using analysis from a British Election Study survey of voting intentions of 13,356 people, it found that in 25 of these seats the outcome of the 2010 general election would have been the same under AV.

In the remaining ten seats, which would have changed hands under AV, the BNP vote was not decisive. This was calculated using polling from the BES paper which outlines the second preferences of BNP supporters. It found that BNP supporters gave 45 per cent of their second preferences to Ukip, 29% to the Tories, 10% to Labour, 9% to the Greens, and just 7% to the Lib Dems.

Using this information, the table below shows the vote share for each party once the BNP have been eliminated and had their second preferences reallocated. In every seat, more second preferences would need to be reallocated before there was a winner.


Summing up the absurdity of of the No campaign’s claims that the AV would “[give] BNP supporters more power at the ballot box“, Billy Bragg told the Independent:

“It’s much easier for them to get elected under first-past-the-post – they need a small number of angry, highly motivated people to win under first-past-the-post…

“If AV is going to help the BNP, why are they against AV? They are opposed to AV because they know that to win power they have to gain more than 50 per cent of the vote.”

The Yes campaign are now turning this point to their advantage with new adverts outlining Nick Griffin’s opposition to AV.

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