Tuesday, 18 January 2011

Will AV wipe out Plaid?

In today Western Mail Dr John Cox  argues that the implication of AV could result in Plaid MPs be wiped out at Westminster especially when taking into account the proposals for larger consultancies in this I am in agreement it is of interest that the Lib-Dems could also lose their three seats and this also seems likely though on the current polls they would do so anyway.

Though I suspect that the Lib-Dems  with some misgiving would sacrifice their 3 Welsh seats for the chance of  ay 20 -40 more in England and perhaps wiping Plaid and the SNP out

Of course this should not be a reason to oppose AV if it resulted in a truly proportional representation but unless you looked at this from a purely UK angle  in which the nationalist parties and all the Northern Ireland parties would probably not meet a percentage threshold then of about 5%  giving them a nominal entitlement of 3 MP's then this will not be fair.

Of course in Northern Ireland the London parties do not largely stand so there may be a case that the introduction of AV would result in more proportionality. But the fact that they recognise the uniqueness of the Six counties  is an Tacit acceptance by the London parties that "Regional " factors should be included in any assessment of whether a system is proportional or not.

My argument  is that although in a minority when it comes to Westminster elections both Plaid and the SNP have enough support to claim seats in the Commons based on the idea of proportional representation. It would be a shame if the introduction of AV could result in them having less representation than they are entitled to under a proportional system based on the Welsh or Scottish percentage of votes,

At the moment Plaid's could claim that it was entitled to  4-5 of the 40 welsh seats based on its votes in Wales, where the SNP cou;ld claim 11-12 instead of the 3 and six they currently have.

I think Plaid's leadership should make a step of rejecting AV not because it threats theircurrent  seats but because it is con masquerading as given us more democracy ,as Dr Cox points out this may well be far from the truth in Wales at least.

1 comment:

  1. Agree. I'm for PR, but AV isn't PR. It will just strengthen the two party state. For all it's failings I think a Con-LD Government is better than a Con Govt. Or a Lab-LD would have been better than a Lab govt. Likewise in Wales the Lab-PC govt has been the saviour of the Assembly (and Labour). I'm loath to count my chickens, but I believe the greater feeling of support for the Assembly in 2011 is partly do to the fact that, at last, the Assembly has actually started doing things and that's because PC are in govt. Had it been a Labour govt we'd have had a repeat of 2003-07 where pretty well nothing happened for 4 years.

    I'm for reducing the number of MPs - that makes sense. And, at the moment, against AV.