AN MP is urging voters to back the current electoral system in this year’s referendum.
Dewsbury’s Simon Reevell has announced he would support the “no” campaign in May’s poll on the alternative vote (AV) system.
AV allows people to rank candidates in order of preference, with the winner needing to take 50% of the ballots cast.
But Mr Reevell opposes the proposed reform.
“I can understand why some people are anxious to change the electoral system but AV is not the answer,” he said.
“It’s a horrible alternative and inherently unfair. Supporters of the smaller parties end up having their votes counted two or three times while supporters of the larger parties have their votes counted just once.
“Moreover, the party in second or third place after the first vote can romp home thanks to second preference votes.”
The Conservative MP backs the current first-past-the-post (FPTP) system, where the candidate who gets more votes than anyone else wins.
Mr Reevell said: “The beauty of the FPTP system is it encourages stability. It is far more likely to result in a legitimate, functioning government, capable of enacting its manifesto commitments.
“It also allows people to kick out the Government after five years if they don’t like them.
“With AV you would be far more likely to have coalitions which are impossible to get rid of.
“I’m a huge fan of what this Government is doing, but in general I do not like the uncertainty that prevails when you have hung parliaments.
“They encourage back-room deals and political compromise.
“With FPTP it is far more out in the open and transparent.
“I hope people will take an interest in the vote because it is an important decision, but ultimately I hope they vote to preserve the FPTP system.”
Mr Reevell’s fellow Conservative MP Jason McCartney of Colne Valley is also backing the current electoral system.
Huddersfield Labour MP Barry Sheerman announced earlier this month that he will campaign for AV.
The referendum is part of the coalition agreement drawn up by the Conservatives and the Lib Dems last year.
Most Tories are backing the current system, while the Lib Dems are supporting AV.
Labour is split on the issue. Party leader Ed Miliband backs AV but several senior figures from the last Government – including John Prescott and David Blunkett – are campaigning to retain the current system.