UK Politics

Voting referendum: GMB's Paul Kenny's view

Paul Kenny says MPs already have to work hard to get elected to Parliament

A referendum will be held on 5 May on whether to keep the first-past-the-post system for electing MPs or to switch to the alternative vote (AV). The BBC is asking a variety of people to give their view:

GMB has long held the view that the tried and tested first-past-the-post is the system that should be used for general elections for the UK Parliament.

In line with the union's longstanding policy on the issue, it will campaign for this position in the referendum on 5 May on the voting system to be used for future general elections.

After the Jenkins review of the electoral system was published in 1998, GMB looked again at the issue.

It concluded that first-past-the-post is a tried and tested system which delivers strong single party government, it is simple and easy to understand and with it there is a strong constituency link.

GMB will campaign within the union and with the public to retain this electoral system in the referendum vote.

We will join with others who oppose the change but we will not be getting into bed with everybody who opposes changes in the voting system. We support the No to AV campaign.

Those who suggest that AV brings about more hard working and accountable MPs have never visited a two or three-way marginal seat under the current system.

This coalition government, and the broken promises of the Liberal Democrats in particular, show that voting for AV would mean that no politician can ever again be relied upon to keep the manifesto promises upon which they fight an election.

There cannot be a more graphic demonstration of this than the Liberal Democrats cynically dumping their tuition fees commitement in return for power even though they made it a flagship policy promise up and down the land.

AV means never having to keep election promises.

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