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Patel wants to give us less fair elections.

March 21, 2021 1:30 PM
By Bryan Lewis
Originally published by City of Wolverhampton Liberal Democrats

In May there will be elections for the West Midlands Police and Crime Commissioner and the West Midlands Metro Mayor. We will use the preference-based Supplementary Vote (SV) system of voting in which voters pick a second choice as well as their preferred candidate.

The Home Secretary, Priti Patel, has set out plans that would see the SV system replaced by First Past the Post (FPTP) system as used in English council and parliamentary elections.

Under the SV system, if no candidate gets over 50% of the vote, the top two continue to a run-off and all others are eliminated. At this point the voters' second choice is counted unless already eliminated. This ensures a broader base of support and the winner has a stronger mandate to serve. First Past the Post lets a candidate win even if a big majority oppose them.

The current system acts as a safeguard against mayors and PCCs getting into office with low levels of support. This is vital for mayors as multi-million-pound budget holders and for PCCs as representatives with wide-ranging policing powers.

Turning back the clock with a discredited, outdated and broken voting system is wrong. If the government's intention is to improve the democratic process they should end FPTP totally.