How 'AV' made Cameron Tory leader
Conservative MPs today, Tuesday, will stick by the "first past the post" system for Parliamentary elections, as the Commons votes on the government's plans to hold a referendum on whether to introduce the Alternative Vote (AV), in which voters state their preferences - 1,2,3 etc.
But John Strafford, of the Campaign for Conservative Democracy, points out that the Tories actually use a similar preferential voting system, a variation on AV, for all their candidate selections and elections of party leaders.
Mischievously, I looked up the voting figures for the Conservative leadership election last time round, in 2005.
Lo and behold, the votes from MPs in the first round were:
David Davis - 62
David Cameron - 56
Liam Fox - 42
Ken Clarke - 38
It was only in subsequent ballots, after the weaker candidates, Mr Clarke and Mr Fox, were eliminated, and David Cameron picked up many of their supporters' second or third preferences, that he won through.
If the Conservatives had used "first past the post" in 2005, then David Davis would have won.